It occurred to me that just when you start to get the whole toddler thing down, I mean just when you're really understanding what they need from you and what you need to do to avoid the ill-timed, embarrassing melt-down, they turn into a preschooler. A whole new species in and of its self. A bizarre sort of creature these preschoolers. For example they have mastered quite a bit of the English language. Their language skills are starting to become more evident but their language application quite often is muddled and hard to understand. It's important to know that miss-interpreting a preschooler can be as fatal as giving a toddler their blue sippy-cup when they wanted the green one because it's their favorite as of 2 seconds ago and they failed to let you know, or giving them Goldfish crackers when they wanted a Ritz ----- deadly! In order to be a happy successful parent to a preschooler it's vital that you not take what they say too literally, also knowing what they were doing precisely before they spoke to you is invaluable.
Lets take a look at some real examples of Preschool Speak and their translations. Shall we?
No creations on T.V.
I knew he had just been watching Curious George on PBS.
Translation: Mother, will you please turn the captions off on the television. The words are getting in the way of the picture.
Vanilla Wipe-Outs please?
It was snack time
Translation: I'm rather hungry mother and would like a snack. I think Nilla-Wafers would satisfy my hunger. May I please have some?
I don't want Little Mermaid show - too girly.
I knew he didn't like it the first time he watched but I thought I'd ask anyway.
Translation: I really don't want to watch that show again because the main person is a girl who sings and dances and I don't know if you've noticed mom but I'm a guy's guy. I want a show with action and adventure, if something blows-up even better. Plus, in Little Mermaid there's that Sea Witch and she really creeps me out.
My arms are broken.
Now this one is a little tricky because his arms could actually be broken. The key is to note the tone in which this is spoken i.e. is he screaming in pain? or did he just say it with maybe a hint of whining? Also it's of the utmost importance to know what he was doing right before he said this to you. In this particular instance he wanted to go outside and was trying to put on his jacket.
Translation: Dad's already outside and I don't want to be left behind. Please help me with my jacket because the arms are inside-out.
I hope that this may help in some small way as you try to navigate your way through the preschool years. If this doesn't help and your preschooler is having way too many moments of frustration from your lack of understanding his communication you can always resort to my old stand-by for a few moments of distraction and relief for/from your preschooler. Give him some goldfish crackers, a Capri-sun and turn on a non-girly show. This is probably what he was trying to tell you he wanted anyway.;)