Posted in Brothers, Emberleigh, Food, Oh, Baby!, Thanks for the memories


Levi, tell Dylan 'please'.
Levi, tell Dylan 'please'.

With a 16-month-old (Levi) and a 9-week-old (Emberleigh) I find that I often have a lot on my plate.  While I believe that I manage alright, I confess that there are some gaps in my mothering.

At what age most children learn their body parts I don’t know.  My mom babysits a 20-month-old, Mackenzie, who knows most of her body parts including some rather interesting ones, for example: boobies!  My son on the other hand, tho’ only 3 1/2 months younger than Mackenzie, thinks that when we talk  about his nose, we are saying ‘no’.  Maybe that indicates a harmful level of negativity.  On the other hand, he will give kisses very readily, and if given his ‘blankie’ will cuddle with you anytime, so he’s probably ok, right?  At least mostly…

Recently, after observing Mackenzie’s apparent genius, I came to the sobering conclusion that I have been remiss in the education department.  Since we spend a great deal of time with my siblings, I decided to enlist their help in the ‘body parts’ department.  This began to prove successful almost immediately.  With some prompting, he can tell you where his belly is which he does by pulling up his shirt and rubbing his rather round abdomen like an old, fat man who has just consumed a delicious meal.  He may or may not say ‘belly’.

In addition to the rather recent emphasis on body parts, I have also been attempting to teach manners.  I pride myself on the fact that, although he does not know the human body yet, he does know what to say when given something.  In fact, whether he is the giver or the recipient, he will utter his version of ‘thank you’ almost every time.  Delighted with his progress in etiquette, I am trying to teach him to say ‘please’ when he wants something instead of uttering the usual repetitive whine.  With a couple of exceptions, I have been unsuccessful, until today, if the following narrative can be categorized as success…

Evan, whom we have introduced in a previous post, was eating a bowl of oatmeal this morning.  Being constantly hungry, and seeing food consumed in front of him, Levi began to whine for a bite, never mind the fact that he had already eaten a substantial breakfast.  Ever the good mother, I encouraged him to say ‘please’.  Searching his short memory for the appropriate word with which to obey me, he promptly replied cheerfully ‘teeth’ and pointed quite proudly to Evan’s teeth.  Proud of my son for his obedience and the use of a new word, yet wanting the words to be matched to the proper actions, I again instructed him to ask ‘please’ for a bite.  Once again, he happily responded with a finger pointing to Evan’s teeth and eagerly opened his mouth to receive the delicious oatmeal.  Not wanting to disappoint him, Evan rewarded him with a bite.

It may be a poor choice on my part, but to me, he is being polite as I have been teaching him, and to Katie, my 13-year-old sister, he is utilizing the words for the body parts she has been practicing with him, so I have decided that ‘please’ may be indicated for now with an index finger to the teeth.

They say sign language is the best way to communicate with toddlers who have not yet developed a substantial vocabulary.  However each word, phrase, or action is indicated is individual to the toddler.  My son, Levi, just happens to say please in his own special way by telling you where your teeth are.

Next, he will learn to demonstrate that he is sorry…



I rock. I also paper and scissors.

2 thoughts on ““Teeth”

  1. With his older aunts and uncles around, don’t be surprised if he picks up a few interesting things. The little one I babysit, Jacob, is now 2 years old. For a special Christmas present, Nate taught Jacob to say “boogers.” He can now not only say the word, clearly, but indicate where boogers live. His mother got on his case about his finger being up there, and he informed her quite clearly, “Boogers stuck.” So, in other words, be careful what they teach him . . .



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