Molly Words

Picture of MollyNow at age five, Molly does not say a whole lot of words completely wrong any more.  But she does have a couple of oddities.

  • Molly calls pretzels “prentzels”. ¬†It sounds really funny when she says it.
  • She calls a toilet plunger a “plumber”.
  • Toxic is “toskic”. ¬†Plus for Molly, “toskic” and “non-toskic”¬†are interchangeable.

But Molly is new enough to the language that she does not find¬†this¬†video about funny foods names¬†very funny. ¬†Claire and I crack up at “speggy and merbles”, but Molly seems to think that sounds just about right. ¬†She doesn’t laugh one little bit.

On a side note, Molly did get one word just right, and not a good one. ¬†It was¬†a word that would normally get her in a lot of trouble but was funny this one time. ¬†One morning before school, Molly was getting frustrated putting¬†her jacket on, and she said very clearly¬†and seriously, “I can’t get this f**king jacket on!” Oh, you had to be there. ¬†It was so funny I had to run out of the room to laugh into my hand just to avoid encouraging her. ¬†Claire and I giggled about that one for a while.

And yet she still can’t say “pretzel”. ¬†Go figure.

Dalmation Donation

Molly has been using her words really well lately.  Her vocabulary and speech make it possible to have something like a normal conversation with her most of the time.  Still, sometimes the conversation is a little last than 100%, like this interaction between Kit and Molly today.

Kit: “We got a donation from Molly. ¬†She’s going to give away this toy cart.”

Molly: “Dalmation?”

Kit: “Donation.”

Molly: “Donation? ¬†What is a dalmation?”

Kit: “You said you would donate this cart.”

Molly: “Oh.”

Then Molly, dressed in a kitty ballerina outfit, shrugged and returned to playing with her other toys.  Molly probably has no idea we are going to give her toy cart to someone else.

New Found Voice


For a few days, whenever we went out to the car to go to school in the morning, Molly would point at some bird poop on the front of the car. ¬†“That’s gross”, she would say. ¬†Sometime she would ask if I was going to clean it up. ¬†I would respond that yes, I would get around to it some time, but it’s not at the top of the list right now. ¬†Now Molly seems to have had enough waiting. ¬†Today she asked me to have it cleaned up by her nap time. ¬†I’m not kidding. ¬†She said sweetly, “Can you clean up that bird BM today?”, then adding, “Before my nap time?”

The bird poop is still on the car, but Molly’s request is probably a good sign. ¬†As noted earlier, Molly is now more prone to using calm words than crying or screaming or throwing a fit. ¬†Her ongoing speech therapy, which she just completed, encouraged her to use words instead of just getting frustrated and mad. ¬†Now she knows how to communicate her needs, aka ask for stuff, like cleaning the bird crap off your car before noon. ¬†(I suppose it is good make clear and specific requests!) ¬†Now that she has better words, Molly is apparently a lot more confident and less frustrated in school.

Molly enjoys her new-found voice at home too, and she has a lot to say. ¬†Molly has asked me to pull the car over — immediately, as in right now — so that I can get one of her toys that fell to the floor. ¬†She has complained bitterly that the new decorative plate does not go on the new glass table. ¬†It was not there before, after all. ¬†She has recently accused our dog Muffin of taking and hiding some of her stuffed animals. ¬†Molly has stated earnestly that Claire’s old shiny, black shoes do in fact fit her, even as they fall off her feet while she stumbles around. ¬†Claire, for her part, has mostly escaped Molly’s new assertiveness so far, although the sisters did have a big argument over who got the pink plate for dinner the other night, and who got the purple one. Molly won¬†the pink plate on a coin toss.

One area where we still have verbal deadlock is the “but I do/don’t want to” stalemate. ¬†Sometimes we ask Molly to do something like come upstairs for bedtime, and her response is, “But I don’t want to”, often said calmly, and as if that should settle the matter on the spot. ¬†We’ll repeat that it is time for bed, and she replies — again — that she does not want to. ¬†(I mean, these big, dopey grown-ups just don’t listen! ¬†Did they not hear me the first time?) ¬†Acknowledging that Molly does not want to go to bed sometimes helps, but not always. ¬†These situations still often lead to Molly crying and screaming. ¬†We’re making progress, but we’re not out of toddlerhood just yet.

Pretty good new word

Over the last few months, Molly has made frequent use of the ¬†classic¬†toddler’s ¬†favorite word: “No!” ¬† This word is usually given sharply and as a reflex, often without thought on what she is resisting. ¬†She has literally said no to eating cookies, being offered a toy (especially by her sister, who wants to play), and going for a fun outing. ¬†Molly has never said the exact following phrase, but I had started imagine it as her motto: “No! ¬†I don’t wanna, and I ain’t gonna!” ¬†The teachers at school had also, in a kind way, remarked on Molly’s toddlerish affinity for the pure negative word.

Moly Eating Raisins with two pants on
“Put my second layer of pants back on? Okaaaaay.”

I am happy to say that Molly has discovered a new word, one which is mature and says, “I can work with you. ¬†I may not like it, but let’s work this out.” ¬†Her new word is “Okaaaaaay”. ¬†This word is always said in the same slow, prolonged way. ¬†It has a calmly resigned sound to it, not irritated or upset. ¬†This word usually comes in response to a calm, brief discussion on why we are asking Molly to do (or more often, not do) something. ¬†More than any other single thing, the shift from the automatic “No!” to the thoughtful “Okaaaaaay” seems to illustrate Molly’s growing maturity.

Molly seems to have moved, at the moment, from rebelliousness to a constant state of distraction.  It does get tiresome to ask Molly 6 different times to brush her teeth while she clambers up and down the foot stool yet again to grab something else for her little purse.  But I will take that trade any day.


A firetruck came to visit Molly’s school today. ¬†Here are some pictures.

By the way, Molly is not yet able to pronounce her “T” sound, ugh less “TR”, and she substitutes “F” instead. ¬†So when she told us about the firetruck, it sounded like a weird, nasty word at first.

Molly's class on the fire truck
Molly's class on the fire truck
Molly giving the fire truck a spin
Molly giving the fire truck a spin

I’m not a toddler!

That is no baby there, brushing her own teeth.

It has come up in conversations around the house recently that Molly is a toddler. Usually Claire brings up the topic out of pride for her growing sister. When it is said by anyone that Molly is a toddler, however, Molly takes great exception to this assertion. “I’m not a todd-el-ler,” she says, looking confused. “I’m a baby!” she insists, poking at her own chest for emphasis, as if it were self explanatory. This is not a sad, “I’m just a little baby” type of reaction. Molly seems proud to be a baby. Baby pride! Still, Molly may be small, but she is clearly no longer a baby, with all her walking and running and talking and brushing her teeth and big talk of using the potty.

Like I always say: If you can say you’re a baby, then you’re not a baby.


Tonight during her bedtime story, Claire noticed a little whitish speck on one of the pillows.  She said, “Ew!  I don’t want to touch that earwack!”.  Now, Claire does not just make up words too much any more, so we were wondering what the heck she was talking about.  We finally realized out that “earwack” is singular for “ear wax”.  It was a single speck of ear wax, she was saying, while more than one would constitute “ear wacks”.  That it a pretty good linguistic innovation, in my book.  I guess even at 6 years old, language is still a little confusing.

Molly sees the doctor

Today Molly was at the doctor for a weight check and sort of a very basic check-up.  This was at 11:00 am, after I had dropped Claire off at school, dropped Molly off at her school, squeezed in a little work, and then picked Molly up to go to the doctor.  Molly was covered in a layer of sticky orange goop when I picked her up at school.  I might have asked the teachers what it was, but was in a hurry, and frankly, I didn’t think much of it since she is often covered in something or other anyways.

These magazines were entirely too well organized.

By the time we arrived at the doctor’s office, Molly had removed both shoes and socks, as she likes to do, and produced a pretty smelly BM (“byem!”) in her diaper.  The check-in nurse thought it was funny that Molly was covered in orange goop and asked what it was.  I shrugged and said I didn’t know, and she thought that was even funnier, I guess since it implied that was just the norm with her.  I cleaned Molly up as we waited.  Two face wipes, six diaper wipes, and two diapers later, she was passably clean with just a few hardened bits of orange goop left on her face.  For the next few minutes, Molly climbed on the waiting benches and rearranged the magazines as we waited.

The weight check showed the same slight weight gain as usual, despite trying to stuff Molly full of calories for the last couple of months.  Besides the weight check, Dr. Miller wanted to get a general feel for Molly’s development.  She asked Molly some questions to get a feel for her verbal development.  Where is your ear?  Where is your foot?  Am I holding up one finger or two?  Molly answered all questions enthusiastically and appropriately.  Then Dr. Miller asked about her family.  Who is your sister?  “Caire”, Molly replied, still skipping the tricky “L” sound a bit.  The next question seemed tough to me: Where is your sister?  I was thinking… How could Molly possibly know where her sister is?  Does she even remember us dropping Claire off at school this morning?  Does she know that is a school?  Does she have any idea what Claire is doing there?  Would she assume Claire is still there?  Molly’s answer amazed me, not only because it showed her perception, but also because it showed she can say a pretty tricky word I had not heard her say before: “kindergarten”.  Yep, Molly nailed it.  These little ones really do know more than you think.

We hurried Molly back to school, rushing to arrive in time for her nap.  For lunch, Molly ate a peanut butter sandwich and some cheese in the car.  By the time we got to school, Molly’s her face had a fresh coat of peanut butter and jelly spread on top of the remaining orange goop, all on top of a contented smile.  She had also removed one shoe and sock, as per the normal protocol.  We arrived just as the teachers were quietly putting the kids down to sleep for their nap, and I didn’t have chance to ask what the heck that orange goop was.  Perhaps we will never know.

Seriously, what is that orange stuff?