The purple guppy


This post previously appeared on Happy by Design

Connecting words with thoughts/wants/needs is a big thing in our house right now. For a while it seemed like just straight-up gibberish…a language we couldn’t actually decipher unless it was accompanied with an action or pointing. But now little man is at the point where he’s putting words together and figuring out names of things and really trying hard to articulate what he wants. It’s a fascinating time. And I already have a boat load of the “He said the CUTEST/FUNNIEST thing the other day.” (And in turn my responses seem equally silly…”No Jackson, we can’t have rabbits in the car. They don’t belong in our car.”)

So although we’re still working through it and he’s continually finding better ways to say what he means, there will be times where he’ll say something that knocks my socks off. It will be a statement where he’s made a connection that I didn’t even know he could make.

This week’s case-in-point was when he went #2 for the first time on the potty. I’m whooping it up (Jake was in spirit, but he was away on business when it happened), I’m praising him, I’m telling him what a good job he did. All of this he agrees with. He says “Yes!” and “I did it!” He totally gets it.

And then he looks at me and says, “I not a baby, mama.” And I almost fell over. I haven’t made a big deal of distinguishing what babies do and what big boys do, because we just started this process and I didn’t want to make him feel bad about doing what babies do before he even has a chance to try. So it came as a shock when he made that association all on his own.

Which is so great. And so bittersweet. Great because he gets it. Sad because….I finally get it. I was waiting for him to get here for so long. And now I just want to pause time. Don’t grow up so fast!

So that’s all I’ll say about the potty training business for now. This isn’t the post about that.

But let’s talk about this purple guppy.

Today was an example of me underestimating his language abilities and thinking, “He’s just mixed up,” when he totally wasn’t.

Before we leave for daycare/work, I ask him to go find a book to read in the car. He looks around his books, and then says to me, “No, I want the purple guppy, mama.” And then he points upstairs to his room. We were just reading a seek and find Bubble Guppy book last night, so I assumed that’s what he meant. See Exhibit A.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

I went upstairs, grabbed this off the night stand and returned to him in the living room. “Got it!” I held it in front of him. He looked up at me. “No mama, the PURPLE guppy.” I stared back at him, dumbfounded. “Jackson, this is the bubble guppy book. You want the bubble guppy book, right? We just read this one last night.” He looks back at me, “No mama, the PURPLE guppy.” He seemed very intent on this purple guppy. In my head, I recounted how we’d been talking about his “Purple turtle” i.e. Donatello, the teenage mutant ninja turtle toy and assumed he was confused. But still, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. “Okay, you come up and show me what you’re talking about.”

We both marched up the stairs, fully dressed for winter weather and approached his book shelf. “The purple guppy, mama!” I frantically shuffled through and tried to find a book that was something he expected. This was making no sense to me. Finally he reached down and grabbed a book. Sure as sh**…it was a completely different bubble guppy book that I’d forgotten about, but he had clearly remembered. He held it up and a smile spread across his face, “Yeah!!! Purple guppy!”

I looked at the book, and finally realized why the purple association was made. Molly’s hat and coat are purple. I mean, it wasn’t the clearest association to me at first, but I guess that’s an appropriate description of the book for a 2.5 year old. See Exhibit B.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B


In the end, he remained determined and I got there. It was a good lesson in not underestimating my little man, and also looking at things through the eyes of someone else.

Do you have any “purple guppy” moments? I find this all so interesting. Share away!

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