Motherhood in Chicago: Translators needed

Deciphering the developing language of toddlers takes skill. For example, it required months of trial and error before I could successfully translate my middle son’s chronic request for “White Christmas Trees.” At the time, Jack was just 2 and demanding “White Christmas trees” whenever we set foot in a grocery store. Convinced he wanted a plant of some variety, I obligingly pushed my toddler through the floral section each week.

Jack would have none of it.

“NO, mommy, I wanded WHI CWISMIS TWEES, not PWANTS!”

It wasn’t until Jack went berserk in the packaged snack aisle before I put it all together.

“Der dey are, mommy! DER ARE MY WHI CWISMIS TWEES!!”

I carefully followed Jack’s gaze towards the bottom shelf of the aisle, and in all its blue packaged glory sat the object of his affection:


I would ultimately earn an advanced degree in toddler talk, but still managed to fail Kid Logic 101.

My final exam came last week. Six-year-old Joey has been advising anyone who would listen that boys require two legs to go to the bathroom while girls needed only one.

I chalked up his nonsense to some sort of skewed sense of sitting vs. standing, and I never bothered to decode his kindergarten ramblings.

Until we went out to dinner the other day.

That was when Joey frantically pointed at the ladies’ restroom sign and confirmed what he had known all along:

“See, mommy! I TOLD YOU! Girls only gotta use ONE leg to pee! ONE LEG TO PEE, MOMMY!”

I didn’t even bother shushing him.

I was laughing too hard and had to run to the bathroom.

To go pee with my one leg.

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