It’s time for another edition of Zoe Said This… a rundown of the current fun, wacky and amazing things our little girl comes out with on a regular basis. One of the best parts of having a two year old is hearing how they use language as they grow! Here are some of the latest gems in her regular rotation.
“She’s stuck in there!” When we took our beloved Goldendoodle to be spayed, I spent some time talking with Zoe about how Autumn was having surgery and would have an “ouchie tummy” for a while, so we’d have to be very gentle with her. I neglected to mention the E-collar/cone of shame Autumn would come home wearing, and had no way of knowing just how upsetting that sight would be to Zoe. When we picked up Autumn and Zoe got her first look at her puppy, she started frantically calling out in alarm, “Autumn’s stuck in there! She’s stuck in there!” pointing and gesturing to the E-collar.
It didn’t help that Autumn was still coming out of the anesthetic so she was groggy, not herself and even groaning a bit. Zoe got more and more upset, even as I tried to explain the collar. When I failed to take it off despite Zoe’s commands and entreaties, she burst into tears. Our sweet girl is so full of empathy and compassion for others! I’m happy to report the E-collar went away soon after that and Autumn was pretty good about leaving her belly alone. Since then, Zoe has continued to say “it’s/I’m/she’s/he’s stuck in there!” anytime a toy rolls behind the couch, she can’t get herself out from her carseat harness, or she can’t get the last bit of banana out of the peel.
“I Daddy! I Daddy!” One evening recently, when she was taking her bath, Zoe put her little pink Dora cup/bowl/starfish toy between her legs (cupping her body with the bump part facing out) and then said, with a huge grin on her face, “I Daddy! I Daddy!” I could not believe it. I cracked up for about an hour over that one, which of course made her beam. She thought she was so clever and so did I. So much for little kids not noticing differences between males and females. Zoe’s got it on lock.
“My mommy. My dora. My puppy.” I’d heard of the legendary “mine” phase that toddlers go through, so I was somewhat prepared for Zoe to start labeling things that way. In her case, however, it’s usually “my” instead of “mine.” Sometimes she’s combative with me, as with a photo album we were looking through this week – she started pulling it out of my hands saying “my book!” and I had to gently correct and remind her that it’s actually MY book, but that she’s welcome to look at it if she’s gentle. Other times, she’s scolding Autumn and staking her claim over me or my lap: “No Autumn, MY mommy. No pushing Zoe!” I feel pretty good about Zoe’s ability to defend her claim on her personal belongings.
“No touching Zoe!” I don’t know where she learned this – probably at daycare – but it’s a good thing. As I’ve said before, I want Zoe to grow up being a powerful girl with a strong no – the “female warrior” her middle name describes. That’s why when she starts getting bossy and saying “No touching Zoe!” to me or to the puppy, I never mind it. She’s got every right to decide who touches her, how and when. Here’s a really thoughtful article about why adults should never touch kids, even with love and gentleness and respect, without asking their permission first.
“I’m so happy!” This is one of my all-time favorite things that Zoe says. She uses the phrase perfectly in context and it always makes my heart glad. The first time she ever said it, we were sitting outside at our picnic table in warm spring sunshine. Zoe had eaten a good healthy lunch and taken a good nap, and she asked me for gummy bears (part of her Easter candy stash we’ve been doling out little by little ever since early April). I said yes – she looked surprised because I say no to candy more than I say yes – and then I said I would go inside and get them for her. I ran into the house, came out with a tiny individual packet of Haribo Gold Bears, Zoe’s favorite sweet treat, and handed it to her. She took the candy from me, gave me a beaming smile and said “Mommy, I’m so happy!” Cue mommy melting into a big puddle of love.
“No hit Zoe!” This one is downright disturbing. Again, I’m sure she learned it at school – and of course, it’s a valuable thing to be able to say there. But it’s immensely alarming when she says it to E and I, since of course we would never and have never hit her! But every once in a while, Zoe decides one or both of us have “ucky manners” (another thing she hears often and picked up from daycare), and when that happens, she turns every arsenal in her verbal weaponry upon us. That’s when we hear “no touching Zoe,” “no Mommy” (or “no Daddy”) and, our least favorite thing she ever says, “No hit Zoe!” I shudder to think of what people will think if she ever yells that at us in public. We always try to act casual and not make a big deal of it when she says it, so as not to encourage repetition, but it’s hard not to look shocked hearing those words spoken so authoritatively by our sweet little angel!
“It’s/he’s/she’s so TINY!” This one might not be adorable to anyone else, but E and I both melt when she says it. The phrase is said in this super-cute, high-pitched voice and it’s accompanied by “tiny” hand gestures. It’s also uttered tenderly and affectionately, like she’s talking about the cutest baby in the whole world. She uses this phrase to describe her stuffed animal friends, the baby birds in the robin’s nest just outside our back yard, and even her friend Carson at school (who is, to be sure, a diminutive fellow). But Zoe also says this about our Goldendoodle we’re not sure why because Autumn has gone from puppy-sized to moose-sized over the last couple of months. Still, if Autumn is curled up sleeping or does something Zoe thinks is cute, Zoe will give her catch phrase: “she’s so TINY!”
What about you – what are your favorite toddler phrases or expressions? I can’t wait to hear in the comments below.