You Won’t Remember How They Talked As Toddlers


You Won't Remember How They Talked As ToddlersIt’s one of our favorite topics of conversation: the cute things our kids say/used to say.  It came up yesterday as I was with a group of people whose kids range from three to 30. And just the other day, my sister posted on Facebook about her toddler daughter saying “bup-up” for get up, and how she didn’t want to forget it.

My kids are now 6-14, and for the most part, they’ve left behind these sweet toddler-y phrases. (If anyone tells my six-year-old daughter that the word is “glove” and not “glub,” prepare to meet your doom.) They certainly don’t remember their mispronunciations and tongue-twister words.

And I have to warn you, parents of wee ones: you won’t either.

You might recall a few that were especially ongoing (we still love to tease my oldest daughter, age 14, about how she insisted on calling Belle from Beauty and the Beast “Jingle”). But I know some of those things I was so sure I’d be able to hold in my head forever are long gone.

My brain is simply too jammed full of very useful things like Hanson lyrics and recipes I don’t make anymore and the wrong date and time for my kids’ next dentist appointment. (How am I always wrong?!) It’s no secret that as you age, things just don’t stick in there like they once did.

Here are my words of wisdom as a mom of not-preschool kids:

  • Take videos
  • Write it down
  • Share it with your kids

I desperately wish I had a video of my third child saying “ope-ten” instead of “open.” The day he said it correctly for the first time, I cried a puddle of tears. Why didn’t I record my David, now almost 12, saying “fi-gen engine” instead of “fire engine”?

In truth, probably because at the time I wasn’t carrying around an excellent camera and video recorder in my back pocket all the time like I am now. I would’ve had to find my actual Canon camera and make sure the battery was charged and my toddler hadn’t buried it in sand or something. And by then, would they be interested in repeating whatever cute thing they had said?

But now, with smartphones, just do it. Take ALL the videos. Post them somewhere so you get reminders of it every year in TimeHop, or just go back through pictures and videos every few months. Post the adorable things your kids say to Facebook or tell stories on TikTok. Or just keep a physical journal or some kind.

Please believe me when I tell you that your memory will fail. It happens to the best of us. So record it, somehow.

Because when your child is 14 and talking about college and wanting to drive a car, you want to be able to go watch a video of her tap dancing and singing in that baby voice. You’ll remember what her chubby cheeks and wild hair and fashion choices looked like, and that she couldn’t say the letter L, and it will expand your love and patience for this long-limbed teenager who won’t look up from her iPad.