Since a lot of you don’t speak toddler fluently, here is a simple toddler-to-English dictionary, along with usage examples and audio clips.
Many Eli statements tell you what you should be doing.
Do it again: You should repeat whatever action you just completed.
Usage: (after tickling Eli) Do it again! Do it again!
[audio:do it again.mp3]
Watch out for me: The toddler is moving quickly, and needs you to be aware of his running and make room for him to pass.
Usage: Watch out for me! (followed by running into a wall)
Alternate version: Here comes me! (followed by running into a wall)
[audio:watch out for me.mp3]
Look into my eyes: You have not truly been listening, and should pay closer attention to the toddler. Often accompanied by the forefinger and middle finger laid on the cheeks and pointing at or near the eyes.
Usage: Mom. Mom. Mom! Mom! Look into my eyes, mom. Look into my eyes.
[audio:look into my eyes.mp3]
I have to tell you something: The toddler wants you to pay better attention. This serves both as a request for attention and a long version of a filler word.
Usage: Mom. Mom. Mom! Mom! I have to tell you something! (long silence) Mom!
[audio:i have to tell you something.mp3]
My diaper is stinky: Though this sounds as if it is indicative, it is truly a demand for you to change the toddler’s diaper. For full effect, this should be the first thing you hear as you are waking up from a deep sleep, with the toddler at your bedside and your faces only inches apart.
Usage: My diaper is stinky.
[audio:my diaper is stinky.mp3]
Many Eli statements tell you what he wants you to let him do.
I want to watch a show: Life has become boring, and the only thing that can relieve the toddler’s ennui is a TV show or two.
Usage: I want to watch a show. I want to watch Little Einsteins.
[audio:i want to watch a show.mp3]
I want to play games on the computer: Life has become boring, and since you won’t let the toddler watch TV, the toddler wants to play online games like PBSkids.org or Disney Online or World of Warcraft.
Usage: I want to play games on the computer. Can I play games on the computer?
[audio:i want to play games on the computer.mp3]
I want long crackers and short raisins: The toddler is hungry, and wants Club crackers (which are rectangular and thus long on one side) and a bowl of raisins.
Usage: I want long crackers and short raisins. No, not goldfish crackers, loooooong crackers.
[audio:i want long crackers and short raisins.mp3]
Some Eli statements ask you to answer questions.
What are you doing?: The toddler is bored, and is faking curiousity about your actions. Do not be surprised to hear this question even if the toddler knows exactly what you are doing and has been watching you do it for the last five minutes. Also do not be surprised to hear the toddler repeat this question every twenty or thirty seconds.
Usage: (while the listener is eating) What are you doing?
[audio:what are you doing.mp3]
Do you like…?: The toddler wants to know if you like something, like sharks or fish or turtles.
Usage: Do you like sharks?
[audio:do you like sharks.mp3]
Many Eli statements tell you what he is doing or was planning on doing, or what Eli thinks of you.
Hmmmmm, let me think: You have asked the toddler to do something, or asked where an object is or what the toddler is supposed to be doing. Often accompanied by a cocked head and a single finger placed to the temple.
Usage: (after being asked where the toddler left the car keys) Hmmmmm, let me think.
[audio:hm let me think.mp3]
I was just trying to: The toddler has been told not to do something, and is attempting to rationalize what the toddler wanted to do.
Usage: I was just trying to eat that bug.
[audio:i was just trying to.mp3]
I’m okay: The toddler has fallen or run into a wall or piece of furniture, and is informing you that he is uninjured.
Usage: (WHAM!) I’m okay!
Maaaaybe…: You have asked the toddler not to do something, but the toddler still wants to do it, and thus repeats what the toddler wants to do.
Usage: Maaaaaaybe I will eat that bug.
[audio:maybe i have to tell you something.mp3]
Oops, I’m sorry: The toddler has forgotten something you told the toddler to do, and the toddler is expressing remorse in a very cheerful fashion.
Usage: (after being reminded to take his plate to the sink) Oops, I’m sorry!
Alternate version: Oops, I forgot!
[audio:oops im sorry.mp3]
Thank you, girl-man: You are female, and have just told the toddler, “Thank you, man!”
Usage: Thank you, girl-man!
[audio:thank you girl-man.mp3]
Yoooooou’re a silly head: You have told the toddler, “You’re a silly head!” After the toddler replies with this phrase, you must reply, “No, yoooooooou’re a silly head.” Repeat.
Usage: No, yoooooooooooooooou’re a silly head.
[audio:youre a silly head.mp3]