Earlier this evening, I sit watching little Chubs, our toddler, rifling through his bookshelf selecting the books he wants me to read him before bed. As he’s looking, he reads out the titles in his cute little toddler language. I need a toddler dictionary, I think as I struggle to interpret some of the words. It’s at this moment that I realise that Miss Sparky used to have a unique vocabulary as well. Unfortunately now, even though I could really use those memories for a purpose, I have absolutely no recollection of the kinds of words she used to use when she was his age. It’s as though the memory just wipes all those years and all those gorgeous moment somehow.
In general though, to the untrained ear, these words are just mumbling gibberish but to parents, not only are many of the words understandable, we actually find ourselves using them in conversation with each other. “Did you pack the geeps?” “Where is the ambeedee?” are common phrases we find ourselves repeating. So I thought – why not create a toddler dictionary? What better way to record some of our little man’s oddities. At the same time it may assist any family or friends who have to engage with us over the next few month to understand what on earth we are talking about. And thus, here the toddler dictionary is formed. Enjoy!
afwan – you’re welcome (in arabic) yes, he knows more arabic than we do – he sang the entire Happy Birthday song in Arabic today on the way to work
ambeedee – ambulance
awdee car – Audi car. He has a small replica Audi Q3 car which was where this one started, but this term can now be used to refer to any white car, toy or real
apwise – surprise
banyee – Barney the purple dinosour. Don’t be fooled though… when you hear this word and turn on the television, he will sing along with the closing song but otherwise completely ignore the show. Unless of course the show happens to not be on, in which case ‘banyee’ will be repeated over and over in a high-pitched voice until another distraction (usually food) is offered
bikkie – this is another obsessive/compulsive word that begins to be repeated from the second our family enters a car to the time we park and exit the vehicle. It can be placated by providing a wholemeal digestive biscuit briefly. However, if the biscuit is missing a section or has a crack in it, the chant of ‘bikki’ can be replaced by wailing that cannot be stopped without a full, perfectly formed biscuit
dumb f&$@ – dump truck. This will usually be repeated at high volume when you are in a public place or a quiet room with people in it that you don’t know – even if there is no dump truck remotely within the vicinity
eeaw eeaw – any kind of emergency vehicle including ambulances, fire engines and police cars
fewawee – any kind of toy car. Regardless of the style or size of the car, apparently every car on the road and in the toy box is made by Ferrari
geep – grape – this can be interchanged with meyon at any time and providing either of these things is likely to result in an obsessive/compulsive repetition of both words until such time as more of the item is produced
lubboo – I love you. This is quite possibly, the cutest thing I will ever hear in my life!
meyon – watermelon
nasour – dinosour
poo poo – this one is obvious, however, I have included it in the toddler dictionary as it is important to understand that when he says it and you ask “have you done a poo poo?”, you will always hear an instant answer of ‘NO’ (the smell will usually give it away, if the half-turned away little smile doesn’t)
saymo – salmon. If you have salmon on your plate at any point in time and he does not, this will be repeated over, and over and over until you give it up
shukran – thankyou (in arabic)
wedgiemy – Vegemite, a salty, black paste that only Australians feed to their small children
yay yo bus – yellow bus. There are a lot of yellow school buses in Dubai and it doesn’t matter how many we see in day, each of them generates the same, high-pitched call of “yay yo bus!!”
Anyone with (older) kids will tell you, the toddler years are some of the most engaging as you watch your little baby develop into a little person. “Cherish this time” I am always told by people whose children are all grown up.
Anyone who currently has a toddler is more likely to not tell you anything as they are too busy trying to stop their toddler licking the toilet seat, wiping poop on the bathroom floor or smearing Vegemite on your freshly laundered white shirt. Frustrating, highly strung but of course adorable and funny is how we view our delightful Little Chubs. And everyday, we add a new word to the toddler dictionary as he learns something else, which is a pretty cool thing to be able to do as you watch someone learn to speak.
The fact that he comes out with Arabic words is somewhat unsettling for us. He sang the UAE national anthem in Arabic today. This prompted both of us to immediately burst into a very poor rendition of the Australian National Anthem for some reason which he found quite strange! And even though we have an element of concern that he’s going to be able to talk with his sister and neither of us will know what they’re saying, it’s also a very cool reminder that our little side-step in life on an adventure in the Middle East is actually his childhood reality.
Enjoy the little moments and of course, have a fabulous weekend!