Lost in Translation: Preschooler Edition

I am the master of languages. Need an interpreter for your family? I’m your gal. Spouse speaking Greek? I am at your service. Confused about what your meteorologist is trying to tell you? Allow me. Unsure what those pesky labels mean? I can clear things up. Today, I’m here to help you better understand your preschooler.

At the table:

“I’m full.” – I have a more pressing engagement. Like sticking Legos up my nose.

“I don’t like this.” – It’s not a hot dog or peanut butter sandwich.

“I’m ready for dessert! I ate all my dinner.” I gave it to the dog when you weren’t looking. Ready for some cake?

Getting Dressed:

“This shirt is too small for me. You need to give it to a baby.” It doesn’t have Spiderman on it. It has Bob the Builder, and I will look like a dweeb.

“This shirt fits me just right!” Even though it’s three sizes too small and is compressing my rib cage so hard you can see my heart beat from across the room. It has Spiderman on it. Spiderman!

Out and about:

I want to walk myself. No stroller.”  – I have just enough energy to last until we are equidistant from any exit.”

“I’m ready to go home and take a nap, Mommy.”  – I just broke something.

“Sharing is fun!” – Ah, I see that you have ice cream.

At Home: 

“When is Daddy getting home?” I need to ask for something I know you won’t let me have.

“I’m your big helper!” – I just scrubbed the toilet with your toothbrush.

“I’m not doing anything.” I hope you have good insurance.


“I need a drink of water!” I need to make sure everybody’s fun stopped when my light went out.

“Can I sleep in your bed?”  – I just peed in mine.

'nuff said.

’nuff said.

Guess what?!! Today is release day for The Big Reap!  Buy The Collector series now, thank me later.


40 thoughts on “Lost in Translation: Preschooler Edition

    • And feel bad because it all sounds like “WAAAHHH!” to you, but all those people in the child-care books seem to think we should be able to tell “I’m starving” or “I’m bored” from “I just dumped a load in by my britches.” Yeah. I was there not so long ago.

  1. I’ll make sure to forward this on to a friend who just had a baby in May. She’ll need it later. (Although, it was ME who, when holding this baby, asked “WHAT DOES IT MEAN?” after she farted.)

  2. this is so funny. I once realised that my godson had gone totally quiet and was behaving himself for once so I went to investigate. He had pulled his table to the window and was solemnly applying Sudocrem to the glass. When asked what he was doing he simply replied “being a window cleaner”. OF COURSE.

    • OMG that’s adorable! A kid I once babysat suddenly decided he wanted to clean things (he was feeling guilty for something he’d done earlier), and I had to explain to him that Raid was NOT a cleaning spray, and maybe you’d better stick with soap and water, ‘kay?

      • YIKES! This is why Squish didn’t spend the night with my mom until recently. Her house isn’t childproof, and he would have been playing squirt-guns with tile cleaner.

  3. Invaluable translation advice. I especially love “I’m not doing anything” accompanied by those huge, puppy-dog eyes. That means call the police, the fire department AND the insurance agent.

  4. I learned last week that one of The Nephew’s go-to phrases is “Do you know why I am very sad?” and then he proceeds to tell you something you did wrong, like not let him throw a hard ball into a wall of glass-framed photographs, or have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich ten minutes before dinner, or lick his shoe.

    “Do you know why I am very sad?” is designed to make you feel guilty, and really translates to, “Do you know why you’re a jerk? Well, I’ll tell you.”

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