toddler talk – part 5

“Where’s my camera? I need to take a picture of my baby.”

I need to take a picture of my baby

She was disappointed that her alphabet puzzle didn’t come with enough R’s.

There's only one R in this puzzle!

She calls Barnes and Noble “Barnes in Oble.”

I asked Harper to hand me something while I was holding Finn and she said (with nothing in her hands), “I can’t. My hands are full.” She then immediately turned to grab the two closest things on the couch – a remote and burp cloth – and held them up to show me.

Checking Finn's heartbeat

Mommy: “Exercise is good for our bodies and so are fruits and vegetables and vitamins.”
Harper: “And candy?”
Mommy: “No, candy is not good for our bodies.”
Harper: “It’s good for my arm?”

Mommy: “Daddy’s stuck at work”
Harper: “Oh no! We have to help him!”

No packages in here

Mommy: “Your shirts are getting too small. We need to get you a bigger shirt.”
Harper: “I can just borrow Daddy’s shirts.”

We had mozzarella sticks one night and she asked if they were fish sticks. After correcting her, she still called them cheese fish sticks.

Swinging in the baby swing

When she’s in a certain mood and you ask her what she did at school that day, she’ll huff and say “Ugh, nuffing.”

Mommy: “What comes after Halloween?:
Harper: “Um, I don’t know.”
Mommy: “On what holiday do we eat turkey?”
Harper: “Um, Mother’s Day?”
Mommy: “No.”
Harper: “Um, Nuffing day?”

One day she was pretending to sleep in my bed and then she’d pop up and gasp, “It’s coronation day!” (A line from Frozen.)

Pretending to sleep

At bedtime each night, after books and songs, she’ll say, “Stay and talk to me.” So Drew and I will both take turns lying with her and chatting. She’ll say, “Let’s talk about movies.” And it’s usually Rapunzel or Ariel and she wants to narrate the plot of the movie. Once in a while, she’ll say, “Let’s talk about Mother’s Day.” Recently, I overheard Drew explaining the plot of The Royal Tenenbaums and later he told me they agreed to take turns talking about each other’s movies.

Playing with stamps

“My allergies hurt. I have allergies in my mouth.”

She chased Maeby under the table and said, “She’s just a little grumpy.”

Taking Finn for a stroll

One the way to school:
Harper: Yawn “I’m tired.”
Mommy: “Why are you tired?”
Harper: “Because my tummy’s full of water.”
Mommy: “Oh.”
Harper: “And milk.”

At dinner one night, I paused to clap for Finn to engage him while we were eating and she said to me, “Hey! Eat your dinner!”

Trying on her new boots

When Drew asked her to do something, she said, “Just a second. You have to be patient, Dad.”

Washing my car

Washing my car

She was playing around and put her lovie in her shirt and said she was having a baby girl named Lois.

Wearing my cardigan

“Mom, are you talking to yourself?”

“We can say ‘Oh gosh.’ That’s a happy choice. We don’t say ‘Oh dammit.'”

Her mean face

She calls us sweetie all the time – sometimes in order to get herself out of trouble. Like, if we asked her many times to pick something up she’ll say, “Just in a second, sweetie” or “Maybe tomorrow, sweetie” or if Drew misplaces his phone she’ll find it and say, “There’s your phone, sweetie.”

She hasn’t caught on that you need to say the word “done” after “almost” so she’ll say, “I’m almost eating.” or “I’m almost watching my movie.”

Tennis guitar

At school, they are apparently told not to lean back on the legs of their chairs, so she will not allow Drew to do it at the dinner table. She’ll say, “Feet on the floor, Daddy.” So any time Drew starts to stretch back, she’ll look down on the floor to make sure the legs of his chair are flat and she’ll say, “I’m checking you! Ok, you’re just stretching.”

Wearing my boots

We went out on the patio to look at the Christmas lights hung on our pergola and she said, “It’s magical!”

Roasting marshmallows

Harper Cate

Before I began recording this video, I had said, “Guess what? Gram and Toddy are coming next week!” And she yelled, “YAY!!!!” I wanted to get her excitement on video, so I told her to do it again and this is what I got:

Silly girl

Silly girl

(Last two photos courtesy of Tod “Toddy” Oles)

toddler talk – part 4

It’s pretty funny when your child starts using your phrases and repeats things you’ve told them. Harper is turning into a mini-Mommy. Or a mini-teenager.

Watering plants

When I ask her to do something she’ll often say “Ok, I’ll be there in just a second” (and repeats that ten minutes later) or “hang on, Mom.”

When we remind her that she forgot to do something she’ll say “I’ll do it next time.”

Playing outside

Maeby was meowing, probably for food, and Harper said “Can you say please, Maeby?”

Margot jumped up on the windowsill and she said “Margot be careful! That’s dangerous!” And then later, Margot was running around like a maniac and Harper said “She’s being ridiculous.” (She learned that phrase from Daddy.)

Maeby was scratching the rug (again) and Harper said “Maeby’s not a good listener.”

When she’s playing, she’ll say “Hold this, Mom. I have lots of things to do.” She’s been really into putting all of her play kitchen foods into her backpack, but then makes me carry it because it’s too heavy.

Playing bookstore:

Playing bookstore

Mommy: “Will you help me give Finn a bath?”
Harper: “No. I’ll help you watch a movie!”

Mommy: “What comes after 39?”
Harper: “Um…”
Mommy: “40”
Harper: “That’s right, Mom!”

She calls hand sanitizer “hand tizer” and now we all call it that.

Blowing bubbles

Mommy: “We’re having spaghetti and texas toast for dinner”
Harper: “Monkey texas toast?”
Mommy: “No, just texas toast”
Harper: “Oh, fancy!”

Accompanied by sweeping hand gestures: “Those are my slippery socks. I can run and dance and slip! I can do lots of many things!”

Harper in a hat

Talking to Avery on her play phone: “Hi Avie! You doin’ good? Can we talk on the computer?”

“I have an idea! Let’s dress up like princesses!”

One sticker is never enough

Drew was playing with her hair and she asked him what he was doing and he said “Playing with your hair” and she said “My hair is not a toy!”

“Mom, I wanna kiss on you.”

I asked her what instrument she wants to play and I named pretty much every instrument in a school band and she said “no” to all of them, and then I started naming other ones “xylophone, triangle, maracas…” And she jumped in, “Maracas would be good!”

Playing outside

At daycare drop-off sometimes she’ll happily join her friends but other days she’s a bit clingy. So we tell her we’ll fistbump her through the window on our way out. Drew came up with that idea. So she’ll stand by the window until we get there and we fistbump and she’s all good. A couple of her friends now join her at the window for fistbumps – so I’ll fistbump each of them. Then other parents started doing it. One morning one of the moms said to me “I don’t know where this came from but he wants to do it every morning.” Yep, that was my husband. When Daddy and Harper fistbump at home, Harper says “Boomshakalaka” or “Boom goes the dynamite.”

When I pick them up at daycare, I get Finn first and then I bring him to her classroom to get her and she gets so excited to see him. Literally every kid in the room comes running “Baby! Baby!” and I have to hold him up so they don’t all grab at him. Harper will extend her arms out to block the kids from grabbing him. Haha. She’ll say “We don’t touch the baby.” (Just like her teacher says.) She’ll say “Hi Finny! I missed you!”

When I get Finn up from his naps she’ll say “Did you have a good nap, sweetie?”

Bath in the big tub

toddler talk – part 3

Mommy: “Harper, can you say ‘hello’ in Spanish?”
Harper: “Hello in Spanish!”
Mommy: “Spanish is another language. We speak English.”
Harper: “English? That’s a silly word.”

Stalling at bedtime again:
Harper: “My shirt is blue! You don’t have a blue shirt. You need to get one at the store.”
Mommy: “I have a blue shirt, I’m just not wearing it right now. It’s in my room.”
Harper: “Oh ok. I need to go check real quick.”
Mommy: “Check what?”
Harper: “I need to check your blue shirt.”

Harper had been playing in her room for a bit when I called down to her “What are you doing?” and she yelled back “Making a mess!”

When Drew is playing with Finn, he’ll sometimes pretend to nibble on Finn’s toes and Harper says “No, Daddy! We don’t eat brothers!”


Harper has always been very particular about shoes and we have a hard time finding sandals to fit her. I’ve learned to buy a few from Zappos to try on and return the ones she doesn’t like. But getting her to even try on new shoes, forget it. I’ll say “Let’s just see if they fit.” So when she tries on uncomfortable shoes, she whines “They’re too fits!” I finally got her to like one pair of sandals this summer by calling them her “Cinderella sandals” and she totally bought it.


When she’s done eating she’ll sometimes say her tummy is full, but randomly she’ll sometimes say “My leg is full” or “my arms are full.”

Harper: “Where’s Daddy?”
Mommy: “He’s at the grocery store”
Harper: “To buy more cow milk for me?”
Mommy: “Yep!”
Harper: “Oh! That’s very nice!”

She went grocery shopping with Drew recently and when they came back I asked her what they bought and she said “Cow milk, beer, and a cookie!”


When Finn is crying she’ll say “I’m here for you, buddy” or “I got you Finn.” And one time he had woken up from his nap, and I saw her on the monitor reach into his crib and give him his paci and I melted.

She has a thing for chapstick but calls it “lips” so she’ll say “I need my lips!”

Once she’s all tucked in for the night, as another stalling tactic she’ll say, “I need to check the weather!” and lifts up her shade to look out the window.

Mommy: “You’re brave!”
Harper: “I’m not Merida!”
Mommy: “I know. You’re Harper Cate and you can be brave.”
Harper: “No I don’t want to!”

Protesting a smile

On the way home from picking her up from school, she and Finn were both fussing and she cries, “We’re both crying!”

Harper: “I want to wear a dress”
Mommy: “Hmmm…”
Harper: “Don’t say hmmm”
Mommy: “What should I say?”
Harper: “Say yes!”

Harper was not in the best mood when I picked her up from school one day and I made the grave mistake of lifting her into her carseat instead of letting her climb in herself, which made it worse. She said she didn’t want to give me a kiss. But I hugged her and snuck a kiss on her cheek and said “Ha ha I got a kiss! I’m sneaky!” And she cried, “I don’t want a sneaky kiss!”

Drew took her to her first movie in a theatre and when she got home she said, “We went to the movie peter!”

Harper loves blankets. She carries them around and loves when I wrap one around her like a dress or tie one on her like a cape, so I started calling her Harper Cate Blankett. I was like “why did it take me so long to come up with that nickname!”

Mommy: “We used to sing this to you when you were a baby.”
Harper: “When I had no teeth and couldn’t talk?”
Mommy: “Yeah!”
Harper: “Yeah, I just had a tongue.”
(Whenever she sees a picture of herself as a baby she says “I didn’t have any teeth.”)

While we were in the bathroom waiting for her to go potty (sooo many conversations happen while we’re waiting to go potty…) she grabbed my cheeks and put her forehead to mine and said “There’s nothing to be scared of.”

While we were in Missouri (after having talked for weeks about all the people she’d see there) she said “I have so many special people in my life!”


Mommy: “What do you want for your birthday?”
Harper: “A bumblebee”
Mommy: “A real one?”
Harper (waving her hand): “I don’t want it to bother me”

Mommy: “…Jack fell down and broke his crown…”
Harper: “He bumped his head? Aww that’s so sad. That’s a sad choice.”

While Daddy was away on business, she requested that I sing his songs at bedtime. He usually sings My Girl, among others, so I started singing it and when I got to the “My girl” part she said “No, I’m Daddy’s girl!”


toddler talk – part 2

Here are some more funny things Harper has said over the last few months:

For a while she said “banama” and “cupcape” but then she figured out the correct pronunciations, sadly. She would also say “talk my book” instead of read. It’s sad when they start saying things correctly! She calls Thomas the Train “Hummus the Train” and I don’t correct her – it’s way too cute.

When it’s sprinkling she’ll say “Look, baby rains!”


When she’s crying (and wants extra sympathy for it) she’ll say “I have tears” or “I have a sad face.”

She still doesn’t like to be called anything other than Harper. If we say “You’re a lucky girl!” She’ll say “No, I’m Harper Cate Browning!” Once I asked her what my name was and she said, “Mommy Cate Browning!” (Even though she knows our real names.) She was quite tickled when she found out my name also has an H in it.


I love all her demands (well, not all.) When she wants you to go to a particular room, she’ll either grab your hand and drag you or demand to be picked up and says “Walk!” She also will say “Pick me up and hug me!” At bedtime, she always assigns me a song to sing (which is always either Annie’s song or Dorothy’s song) and she’ll sing another song and we must sing them both at the same time. So I’ll begin singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and she’ll loudly sing “Let it go! Let it go!” or “Everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you’re part of a team” (From the Lego movie.)

When she’s scared or getting teased by Daddy, she’ll run to me and say “Save me, Mommy!”

She also will repeat things we’ve said to her or other random things she hears us say (we should really watch what we say now.) Drew had his feet on the coffee table and she said “Feet off the table, Daddy. Feet on the ground!” Drew took her to school and in the parking lot she said “That guy needs to learn how to park.”


“Daddy’s drink coffee and beer, girls drink milk and water.”

While trying to stall bedtime:
Harper: “Wanna play soccer?”
Mommy: “No, I want to get your jammies on.”
Harper: “You’re not listening!”


When I asked her to brush her teeth, she once said “Ok, my dear!” It only happened once. Usually her response is “I can’t!”

The other day she said “Mommy, I like your ponytail. It’s so beautiful!”

She asked if she could do my hair, so I let her play with it. She gathered a bunch of hair and leaned forward and asked “Do you want an Anna braid or Elsa braid?”


Harper: “I don’t want to go at school”
Mommy: “It’s not AT school, it’s TO school”
Harper: “No, ONE school!”

She was counting seven animals, so Drew quoted There’s Something About Mary and said “Seven little chipmunks sitting on a branch eating lots of acorns outside my uncle’s ranch” and Harper said “Only girls eat ranch!”


toddler talk

Here are some of the silly things this girl has been saying lately:

When Drew brings her home from school she comes running in yelling “Mommy mommy mommy I went on the potty!” or “Hi Mommy, I came back!”

Or in the morning she’ll come running into my room yelling “Hi Mommy! I was sleeping!”

We watched Beauty and the Beast for the first time and Harper was not prepared for the surprise twist at the end when Beast turned back into a human. She was quite upset, crying “My beast!” For weeks afterward she’d say “Beast turned into a boy.”

She loves the movie and soundtrack to Annie (the 80’s version) and sings “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, only a day awake!”

If Maeby is on the counter: “Get down Maeby! Silly cat!”

Me: “Harper, what do you want to be when you grow up? A scientist?”
Harper: “No”
Me: “An engineer?”
Harper: “No”
Me: “A ballerina?”
Harper: “Yes!”

Me: “Harper, are you my chick-a-bee-bee?”
Harper: “I not a chick-a-bee-bee!! I’m a girl!”

Me: “Harper, are you my daughter?”
Harper: “No, I’m Harper Cate!”

Points to my belly and says “Baby brother in there? Baby brother get big?”

She sometimes isn’t so keen on brushing her teeth (I think she’s learning ways to stall bedtime), but on the nights she’s on point, she does it all by herself and says “Harper make happy choice!” And when I say she wants to do it all by herself, you better not even help her open the drawer or she will close it just so she can open it herself. “No, I do it!” is probably her most often used phrase right now.

When I ask her to put her shoes on, she’ll say “No, I have my feet!”

Randomly, while we were eating at Panera Bread one day, she said loudly “Daddy has a butt chin!”

She calls mini Reese’s peanut butter cups “baby muffins.”

When it’s 60 degrees out, she’ll demand her hat and mittens, but when it’s 30 degrees out she does not want her mittens. Oh wait, she wants her mittens now that you’re in the car pulling out of the driveway.

When we’re outside and she looks up to find the moon, she’ll squeal “My moon!” Yes, she thinks the moon is hers.

She’ll sing random songs that I assume she learns at school. Recently it was “Three little hot dogs sitting in a van…” I have no idea…

Whenever you ask her what she wants for dinner it’s always “Noodles and salad!” or “Noodles and shrimp!” This kid loves shrimp.

She can say big words like hippopotamus but she still calls an owl a “hoo hoo”. She has an owl nightlight and at bedtime says “turn my hoo hoo on!”

She likes to have “I love you” battles where she yells “I love YOU!” and we say it back and she says it back even louder.

And the best is when she gives me her biggest smile, hugs me and says “Harper so happy!”