the yes & no, touch & go, language of toddlers

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Big Red’s Baby Girl, For Sure.

Abigail’s favorite word right now is “sure.” Given this, you’d think she’d be a lump of sugar, all candy canes and rainbows. Perhaps one could even surmise that she’s a “yes man” in a size 2T  tutu.

Abigail, can you please make me a cup of your famous espresso? “Sure, Mama.”
Angelface, should we sing Annie songs now? “Sure, yes, Mama.”
Abigail, are you going to go swimming in the pool?

“NO, MAMA. NO SWIMMING. ABBY NOT.” If she doesn’t get her way, she takes to lying down, refusing to move, even if it’s on the stairs. Rock on child. Seriously, bring it. I was waiting for this. Test and push away on our boundaries. Just watch what happens.

Here’s what happens: Phil threatens her, asking if she needs a Time Out.

“Sure, Papa, a time out for Abby.” She then proceeded to walk to the naughty spot. Happily. As if she might throw an imaginary tea party in her own honor.

On Father’s Day, I was in the laundry room changing Lucas’s diaper. Phil was upstairs asleep. Unbeknownst to me, Abigail marched upstairs with Elmo, then climbed onto our bed, pulling the covers off Phil, only to reveal that he wasn’t just sleeping in. He was sleeping in… the nude. Upon realizing this, Abigail said, “Uh, oh. Papa needs a pamper.” Hopefully not for a few more Father’s Days. Abigail, are you going to get Papa a diaper for Father’s Day?

“Sure, Mama, yes, Abby do it.”

4 YEARS AGO: Hamps In Da House
5 YEARS AGO: Wasbands and Wives



  1. I think “sure” is the cutest word when toddlers use it. It sounds so adult…it goes so far beyond the simple “yes” or “no” into this realm of choice and compromise. I love it.

    Great pic too!

  2. “…then proceeded to walk to the naughty spot. Happily.”

    My son, Liam, does that too. He marches right over there and sits. It cracks me up.

  3. I love love love your writing! And this little post is so cute just a little snip of your life. Oh! How I wish I could capture moments like this of my Granddaughter—hmmm oh well not everyone can have your talent. Keep on keeping on. Thanks for sharring!

  4. Me thinks the naughty spot is not a great deterrent if she happily goes! New spot Mom and Dad.

    Abigail looks like a delightful mix of Mom and Dad in this picture. Facially most like Dad but I am imagining some strawberry blonde curls?

  5. I have to say I identify with Abigail on going to the Naughty Spot! Mine was “Do you want to get sent to your room?” I’d often answer yes, get sent to my room, and then spend the next hour drawing or looking at my picture books. Even a spanking with it was not enough of a disuasion. (This was the late 60s) I at least used the time to expand my imagination and creativity since video games didn’t exist, even though I doubt that was my parents’ intention. LOL.

    1. Ah, I was also happy to be sent to my room. Sure, no problemo. So my mom worked out a new deal – I had to lie on my bed, not allowed to read or do anything! Now that was horrible. One time I snuck in a comic and started reading on my bed… until she bursted through the door yelling “I knew it!”. This seriously freaked me out, it took years before I lost my paranoia thoughts that people where hiding behind doors waiting to burst out :(

  6. The children call you Mama and Papa? Is there a reason for this. What happened to mommy and daddy? Just askin’ is all.

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