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fortunately at least one remembers their first language

fortunately at least one remembers their first language

June 12, 2007

Tonight my daughter was having a major freak out at bedtime. She had to go to bed 15 minutes early as a consequence for some horrendous behavior this afternoon.

I put her into bed and she started crying for her blanket. Her special blanket wasn’t in her bed.

“I will get it for you. Where is it?”

“It’s near the papal juice,” she sobbed.

“Near what?”

“The papal juice.”



“Um, okay,” I said.

I left her room and headed down the stairs. I repeated it over and over in my head. What the heck is papal juice? We aren’t Catholic. We certainly don’t have any juice belonging to the Pope here.

I walked around giving a cursory glance through the rooms. I decided to ask the kids.

“Hey, anyone know where papal juice is?”

The oldest kids ignored me, as usual, but my 6 yr old popped up and said, “Under the bench in the mudroom!”

I looked in there and sure enough there was her blanket. Right next to the baseball shoes.

Posted by Chris @ 9:32 pm  

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  1. Kristi says:

    At least she can find comfort in the fact that her 6-year old brother understands her! Papal juice=baseball shoes, whooda thunk?

  2. Mrs. Schmitty says:

    ooookkkkkkaaayyy. Thank goodness you have another child who speaks the language! LOL

  3. AbsolutelyBananas says:

    oh, how cute. one of my FAVORITE all-time words that my son used to say was “Fottee” (for Coffee)

  4. Karen says:

    That is so cute. Can you send your 6 year old here for a bit? I could sure use a hand deciphering some of the stuff Thomas says. :)

  5. The Lazy Organizer says:

    I was guessing apple juice. Do you ever find her blanket in the fridge?

    My Mom found my older sister’s doll in the fridge once when my brother was a baby. Mom watched him a lot closer after that.

  6. robiewankenobie says:

    i have a friend whose daughter kept saying something over and over as a baby. it was driving her crazy, because it was something that the baby was repeating with frequency, and she recognized it as the kid’s first words…whatever they were. finally she asked her older son, and he said, “she’s saying scotch tape, mom.” of course. so her baby’s first words? scotch tape.

  7. Karen says:

    My youngest boy used to say “shep-up” for ketchup. My oldest daughter says “washmellows.” Somehow this alien language (usually understood by siblings) can be frustrating, but is also bittersweet when it passes. Enjoy the papal juice while it’s around - it’ll be baseball shoes before you know it!

  8. Karly says:

    Aw, what a good big brother. I used to say hocks and hoos and it took my parents ages to figure out I was talking about my socks and shoes!

  9. Kendra says:

    That’s so cute! I love to hang onto that baby talk. They grow up so fast.

    My son used call our bicycle tire pump the hump. That was great fun when he came in saying, “Mom, can I hump you?”

  10. Melanie says:

    Well, DUH! Really, Mom.
    At least they all speak the same language…

  11. Love my sailor says:

    LOL, I was thinking apple juice too. My oldest would say things we had no clue what she was talking about. You have the older ones to translate. We had to guess and were wrong.

  12. Fold My Laundry Please says:

    My 5 year old is always interpreting our 3 year old for my husband and I.

    3 y.o.: I wanna watch Una!
    Me: Una? What show is Una?
    3 y.o.: UNA! UNA! UNA!
    Me: ??????
    5 y.o.: He’s wants to watch Dora, you know, the explorer? *heaves heavy sigh and rolls eyes*

    Honestly, parents can be so stupid!

  13. Still Standing says:

    Yah, that’s one to write down and remember. Cute stuff…I’m just glad you didn’t find the blanket where I found ours….
    check out ‘You’ve got to be blanket’in me!’ at my place….

  14. Liz says:

    This link should tell you why I should never be a Baby Language Interpreter (she was not quite two): http://mamacanuck.livejournal.com/2005/05/30/

  15. Michelle says:

    Thanks for making me laugh out loud! One of the funny things my oldest used to say was calling any plane or helicopter in the sky a “hum” for some reason. Maybe because they make a humming type of noise up there??? Who knows!

  16. julie says:

    I can so relate to that. I am always asking the other kids to interpret for me. My 11 year old is the only one who understands her little sisters complete vocabulary. It is very sweet.

  17. Traci says:

    I can relate completely!! My three year old says things like, “Sing Rarr,” and my 17 year old immediately knows what he’s talking about. Rent rye = french fries…the list is endless. I figure when I know the difference between the names he calls each of his three blankets, I’m doing okay! That only took me a year to figure out…I wish there was a dictionary to help those of us who don’t understand!

  18. poppy fields says:

    Well, running around the yard shouting out “baseball shoes” won’t be as shocking to the neighbors as was Miles happy “truck” greetings.

  19. CathyC says:

    Duh. Obviously! I love “kid talk.”

  20. Nicki says:

    My favorite my kids use right now is “cock os” as in Tacos. Another hard one to explain.

  21. Brigitte says:

    I think I vaguely remember translating for my little brother when I was a kid - it seemed so obvious what they were saying THEN. Thank goodness for your 6 year old coming to the rescue, too cute!

  22. Kristie says:

    I love the baby language and am always so sad when it goes away. My kids, ages 10, 9, and 7, don’t do it a lot anymore … but one they have hung on to is “nimmows” for “minnows”. I’m sure local fishermen think they are all three speech-impaired, but I think it’s adorable.

  23. Kerry says:

    Thank the pope that you have 6 other kids to translate. Poor only children. hehe

  24. Lisa says:

    This made me laugh out loud for a few minutes!! (In fact, I’m STILL laughing!!)
    My daughter is almost 7 and still says “Taco Boinyo” for Taco Bueno and “Skwungebob Pairpants” for Spongebob Squarepants…and I’m content to let her say them that way forever!!

    *still laughing at this part “What the heck is papal juice? We aren’t Catholic. We certainly don’t have any juice belonging to the Pope here.”*

  25. Mel says:

    Hi Chris My little guy (10 years old now!!) has a blanket that he has named “ME”. You should see the looks when at bedtime he is walking around the house saying “I can’t find me, I can’t find me, I can’t go to bed without me!” Makes for some funny conversations when friends are over and they haven’t heard that line before.

  26. Anne says:

    I’m usually pretty good about deciphering stuff like that but that one had me stumped lol

  27. Jamie says:

    Great story! Made me laugh right into out loud — coffee almost came out my nose.

  28. Kasey says:

    your family’s so rad!

  29. Mudderof3 says:

    That was funny! I love baby language. I thought for sure it was apple juice..I would have been looking around the house all night for that one.

  30. Jodi says:

    Oh! That is good! At least someone knew what she was talking about. LOL

  31. Megan L. says:

    Uh oh! Now you’re going to get a million and one how-my-child-said-it quotes. Which are always the way we will remember our nouns for the rest of our lives.

  32. Holli Smith says:

    Oh my gosh!! That made me laugh harder than anything I’ve read in so long!! I have actual tears!! YEAH for papal juice!!
    The cutest story and didn’t you want to just eat her up after that?!

  33. Jessica says:

    Lol. My daughter used to get into the car and start screaming for Menken. Took me weeks to figure out she wanted me to turn the radio on for “Music”.
    Maybe your sons have indoctrinated your daughter into believing that baseball is holy…

  34. jody2ms says:

    LOL! Yes, they have a language all their own.

  35. nabbalicious says:


    That reminds me of when Chandler was stuck in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre on “Friends,” and he tried to mumble about it to Monica so that Jill wouldn’t hear what he was talking about. She couldn’t understand and passed the phone to Joey, who got the code immediately.

  36. Summer says:

    LOL How funny! At least you have a translater. LOL My oldest used to whine for the “boat king” all the time. I finally figured out that boat king = remote control. Don’t ask me how!

  37. meritt says:

    Ahhh, my guess was purple juice. Of course that led me to wonder why her blanket would be in the refrigerator with the purple juice… but only briefly, as I have three children and I’ve found many non-refrigerated objects in our refrigerator.

    (And many refrigerated things in non-refrigerated places, such as, under a bench).


  38. Kini says:

    That is just so precious!

  39. jojo says:

    and yet another example of how i love yur blog. youve got so many funny stories. my little girl (1 1/2) calls her brother (3) to-to-ta…meaning jonathan. and he calls her princessa…spanish for princess.

  40. Susan says:

    That is hilarious!

    When my son was about 2-3, he was obsessed with the (1995) Little Rascals movie.

    For months, he went around quoting something, and we were irritated because we could never figure out what he was saying. “Strot a molley BONK!” would come out of his mouth several times a day.

    Finally, when Little Rascals played in our home for the millionth viewing, we caught the line he was quoting: “(You) DESTROYED our manly BOND!”

    We still tease him about that to this day, and he’s nearly 12. ;)

  41. elizabeth says:

    Why, it’s the secret lives of children and animals - something we, as adults – are beyond understanding any longer. ;-)

    Freakin’ adorable!

  42. Lisa says:

    So cute! I thought “purple juice”, or grape juice, but still…that would mean in the refrigerator. Priceless.

  43. Jen says:

    My 4 year old helps me decipher what my 19 month old says on a daily basis. Between the two of us, we understand about 20% of what she says.

  44. Nikki says:

    Great stories! I don’t have children yet, but I do have vague recollections of my mother asking me to STOP translating for my younger brother. He was relying on me to convey his wishes instead of learning to say words correctly — not really a problem until I went away to preschool.

    We’re 28 and 25 now, but every now and then we’ll still use some of those words around our parents — or (more commonly) our parents will use them around us.

  45. Jessica S. says:

    OMG! This is my life! My 2 1/2 year old daughter is a riot to decipher. Unfortunately, she has no siblings yet; so dad nad I are left to try our best. Thanks for the laugh!

  46. Bastet says:

    That is hysterical! My 2 year-old is hard to decipher too, and when you ask her to repeat what she said, she looks at me like, “I already said it once!” My 2 year-old is going on 16!

  47. Crisanne says:

    My mom was of the “don’t correct it ’cause it’s too cute” club. I discovered (in 7th grade!!!) that I had been saying Count Chocleea all my life never once realizing that it was Count Chocula. I still catch myself saying tingeber for temperature and cagisregister for cash register every once in a while.

  48. Ursa says:

    This was just too funny. I am still laughing as well as at the story Liz wrote about. We are bilingual in our house and when we don’t understand the 2-yr old, we just blame it he is talking in the other language.

  49. Jill says:

    All week, since I read this post, it will come back to me at odd moments throughout the day, and I’ll start laughing for no apparent reason.

    “Papal Juice”

    I love it.

  50. MamaMaven says:

    Very cute, I was all for apple juice as well. Isn’t it great when they understand each other? My youngest insisted on Quiz Cazine one day for lunch and finally her older sister said, duh Mom, she wants Kids Cuisine!

  51. Gwen says:

    This is why kids need siblings!

  52. Melonie says:

    As parents of an only child, we never had the luxury of an interpreter. We just had a very frustrated kid who thought we were complete idiots. The worst was when she was three and we were at the mall and she kept asking to go on the alligator. Huh? She led me to the bank of alligators in the middle of the food court. Alligator/Elevator- same thing, right?
    But still the language butchering continues, even though she’s nine. But we tend to adopt her phrases as well. Her current favorite- Bomb fire. She likes having bomb fires now that it’s summer time. She likes to roast marshmellows over them.

  53. Tammy says:

    I love your blog! I don’t remember how I stumbled upon it, but now it’s a daily addiction for me (and a good one!). I also thought ‘apple juice’ was the winning answer. I remember our son saying so many funny things…what sticks out most in my mind that we still use today (although he’s 10 now and we’re embarrasing him when we remind him) is ‘dawbies’. What is a dawbie, you ask? Why, a strawberry, but of course! And that took a LONG time to decipher–he’s an only child–so he always had that look on his face like we were idiots, too. And my other all time favorite thing he’d say when he was about 3 years old…when we were really busy, he used to say “Man, we have a lot of workado”…that’s ‘work to do’ in grown up language! I miss those cute little words, they make me so sad that he’s growing up.

  54. Chris says:

    ROFLMAO!! That is hilarious and soooo precious! I found you via Vodkarella and I will now be a regular reader! Great blog!

  55. Amy says:

    Translating the two-year-olds is a daily game in our house, but the four-year-old stumped me last night with a very intense discussion of one of his fellow preschoolers and her Maori.

    Apparently, said preschooler has a Maori (”A Maori?” “Yes, a MAORI.”) at home that, if provoked, will bite someone so that they bleed and then die and then never see their mommies again.

    I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about, but I’m guessing that he’ll forever regard New Zealand with fear and suspicion.