Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A twist to a toddler classic

Isn’t it funny how toddlers learn to talk? One day, there isn’t a discernible word in the babble; the next, there’s a very obvious “bye-bye.”

Ladybug’s word choices so far have revolved around food, sleep, body parts and manners. Right now she’s obsessed with “bless you,” and you don’t have to just sneeze to earn one. Any unusual sound emitted – including a stranger’s toots in the grocery store – will attract Ladybug’s attention and a very loud “bless you!”

But the latest addition to her word lineup has me stumped. I have no idea where it originated, particularly since I have made a conscientious effort to avoid using it: “Mine.” I always figured that “mine” would naturally find its way into her vocabulary. After all, what’s that phrase emblazoned on every toddler T-shirt? – “What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine.” It’s innate toddler philosophy.

Knowing that, we’ve tried to establish boundaries with Ladybug ever since she started crawling and getting into everything. It’s a balancing act because we also want to teach her to share. So when Ladybug heads to my desk to start emptying out the drawer, for example, I don’t say, “Stop, that’s mine.” Instead, I opt for something along the lines of, “That belongs to Mommy and I need it to stay there so I can find it. But would you like to look at the sticky notes with me?” It satisfies my need to keep Ladybug out of my stuff but it also satisfies her curiosity. Well, at least that’s the theory.

So I was a bit surprised when I was trying to sneak in a quick lunch the other day. I was standing at the island in the kitchen, a fork headed for my mouth when Ladybug showed up at my legs. Her arm was extended upward, hand open.

“Mine,” she said, pointing at my fork.

It wasn’t as if she was hungry; she had just finished a big meal. It’s just that she wanted what was in my hand. Since then, everything is “hers” – the TV remote my husband is holding, the laptop when I’m typing, the food a random shopper is placing in their shopping cart. I guess it’s a part of toddlerhood that I can’t escape.

But at least I can be comforted by one thing: Ladybug’s politeness. She’s added a new word to her demands.

“Mine …. Please.”

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And again the winner is the child thats likes to bless you when you fart ,Oh my come on for crying out loud. Does your life twist on everything that happens that is stupid, maybe you should have your child check out are you!!

October 3, 2007 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Oh, look! The Nice Lady is back. Kids, her kind and gentle character is just what you want to emulate.

October 3, 2007 at 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I don't get this. I get that your articles are about the day in the life of a toddler, why can't everyone else. It really upsets me when people criticize others. If you don't like Michelle's post then don't read them! Don't be so mean. Michelle you go girl. I like your stories it remimds me of what I have to look forward to in the next couple of months.

October 3, 2007 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

If Ladybug could read, we'd be having a conversation about why some people feel the need to try to belittle others. But seeing as we're a couple years off, I'll keep my thoughts on that subject to myself.

October 3, 2007 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

"Nice Lady?" Puhleeze!

It's so sad that there are haters & hecklers in the blogosphere.

I've been lurking here for several months and thought I should step out of the shadows and say, "Howdy! Love your writing! Can't wait for more!"

I found your site through my SIL, kks's, site.

I am glad I did!

October 6, 2007 at 4:43 AM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Thank you for reading! You know, a few months back someone posted a not-so-nice comment on an entry and kks said that it had to be a man because no woman could be so cruel. I wonder what she thinks now?

October 6, 2007 at 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure, Michelle. Frankly, I had a hard time reading the first post because of the poor grammar. Seriously? Someone obviously is a bit insecure and needs an outlet. Unfortunately, you are her outlet. Time for her to move on ...

October 7, 2007 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Oh, she'll surface again the next time I mention poop. : )

October 8, 2007 at 6:45 AM  

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