Toddler Talking and the Road to Getting What You Want

I’ve made no secret of our issues with toddler talking, or the lack thereof.  Still, we seem to be having some improvement, and I have to admit that it’s thrilling to hear Norton use a new word.  Or to use a word consistently.  Oh, heck, it’s just good to hear any amount of toddler talking at all.  However, I’m starting to find that these strides in toddler talking may lead to a very, very spoiled little boy.

I want very much to encourage Norton and his toddler communication.  After all, it’ll be very hard for him to focus on a career in the challenging field of world domination when he grows up if he can’t even communicate effectively.  But I discovered today that using words is almost instant gratification for him.  I was in the bathroom (since, you know, moms aren’t actually allowed to pee alone) and Norton barged in.  He looked right at me and said “boo” (ball).  You’d better believe that as soon as I was finished in the bathroom, I found him a ball and we played for 20 minutes on the floor.

I realized that I do this with other words.  If he tells me “go-goo” (yogurt), then I’ll tell him to get in his chair and I get him a little bit of Greek yogurt.  When he comes up to me and says “bub-boow”, then we’re off to the bathroom to blow bubbles.  I’ve been encouraging him to say “Elmo” since he loves the little red monster so much, but I’m starting to think that I should be relieved that he doesn’t.  After all, that could get very expensive very quickly… especially if he starts saying “Elmo” in the toy department.  Either that, or I’d have to start praising him for saying the word, but letting him know that saying it doesn’t equal instant wish gratification.

For now, though, I’m so tickled with his use of words that I’m happy to reward him by giving him what he asks.  (That would, I suppose, also have to change if he asked for yogurt and we were out.  Or it was bed time.  Or whatever reason giving him yogurt would be completely inappropriate at that time.)  For the first time, I find myself looking forward to our next appointment with his speech pathologist.  I actually have something good to report that seems like true progress in terms of toddler talking.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Makes me so happy to read about his progress! Star was also slow on the talking front, but she has made great progress with that lately, too.

    Side note: What is it about Elmo that puts him above all other muppets with kids!?

    • I have no clue. Fortunately, Elmo has grown on me. In the beginning, I wanted to throttle the little red ball of fluff. There are some that still irritate me, but at least they don’t show up as often as Elmo.

  2. Ha! The only one that bugs me is the bear with the lisp.

    • Baby Bear? Yeah, that one can get old. And Telly is neurotic. Rosita is screechy. Zoe is obsessed with her rock…. 😛

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