Tag Archives: humour

How to Talk Like a Toddler

Little Brother at breakfast

After a whole year of mischief, mayhem and almost driving his mother crazy, Little Brother had his second birthday yesterday. My littlest boy is now two. Regardless of the alluring alliteration, I don’t think his twos will be any more terrible than his ones or threes. Nevertheless, it is a new age, a new day, and a new adventure for us all.

So this is the perfect time to share with you an excerpt from a book I’m working on, titled “How to ______ Like a Toddler”.* I hope you enjoy it.

How to Talk Like a Toddler

Learning to talk like a toddler can be more difficult than you may think. Not only do toddlers fail to use pronouns and conjunctions, they also abuse the basic rules of grammar, ones that we have long since internalised and adhere to without question or forethought. Like using both nouns and verbs in the same sentence. Or using sentences at all.

But never fear!

After hundreds of hours of dangerous research, we here at the TMI Institute have put together a handy list of the most common toddler phrases so you can get started. Once you’ve mastered these ones, don’t be afraid to experiment with new phrases. Just remember the basic toddler commandments:

  1. Make it loud.
  2. Make it messy.
  3. Make it NOW.

Talking like an adult:                               Talking like a toddler:
Good morning. How is everyone?                        Hello!
I have something I’d like to show you.               Mummy!
Can you look over here, please?                           Mummy!
This is important.                                                        Mummy!
I’d like something to eat.                                          Mummy!
I’m feeling a little thirsty.                                         Mummy!
Is anyone there?                                                          Mummy?
Please hand me that item.                                        Mummy.
No, not that one, the other item.                          Mum-my!
No, the item behind me.                                           Mummy!!
Please look at me.                                                       Mummy?
Please look at me right now.                                   Mummy!
Can I have that?                                                            Mummy?
Please come here.                                                        Mummy.
Please come here now.                                              Mummy.
Please come here right now!                                   Mummy!!
Why are you looking at me like that?                 Mummy?
I’m too cute for you to be mad at me.                 I love you.

Now that you have some simple phrases to start you off, let’s put it all together into a toddler “conversation” and see how it sounds.

“Hello. Mummy. Mummy? Mummy? Mummy. Mummy? Mummy? Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!! Mummy! Mummy. Mummy? Mummy. Mum-my! Mummy. Mummy. Mummy? Mummy!! Mummy? I love you.”

Now you’re getting it!

Keep practicing, and you’ll be talking like a toddler in no time!

Have you got any other tips for talking like a toddler?

* This is not a real book. In case you were wondering.

** Unless you want to give me a five figure advance to write it. Then I’m all over it. (Hit me up via the contact page.)


Filed under Life With Kids

The End of the World!

I was in high school the last time I remember the world coming to an end. Grade nine, to be exact. It was September, 1991.

It was a big deal.

For weeks before the big event, TV and radio personalities talked about little else. (Disclaimer: I was 14. I may have ignored the other news stories.)

Finally, the big day came.

But before it came End of the World Eve.

As my friends and I were leaving school, we gathered together to talk about what we expected to happen on the morrow. Would there be fire? Flood? Nuclear weapons? Zombies? Nobody knew. But one thing was for sure.

Why bother doing homework when the world’s only going to end anyway?

So, being rather unfamiliar with the real meaning of hedging our bets, we all vowed to “hedge our bets” and not do any homework.

The world was coming to an end. What did it matter if we completed twenty polynomial equations and wrote a 500 word essay on some book we’d never actually bothered to read?

I have sad news.

The world didn’t come to end that September day in 1991.

Even worse, we all got lunch detentions for not completing our English homework.

Even worse, two of our number did their homework anyway.

I tell you this story so you can understand why I treated news of today’s coming Apocalypse with some small measure of trepidation. I’d been there before. I’d put my faith in the world ending, and been sorely disappointed (and punished). I wasn’t ready to open myself and risk having my heart broken again so soon. It’s only been twenty-one years.

(Gods, I’m old.)

And as the clock ticks over from December 21st to December 22nd, I leave you with this message:



Filed under Random Stuff

I Come From a Land Down Under

It’s tough being Australian on the internet. Between the misspelling (it’s HUMOUR not HUMOR, people!) and the assumption that Christmas happens in winter, it can be downright discouraging. Especially when so many people seem inclined to believe that Australia is a country full of Crocodile Dundee clones keeping kangaroos and koalas as pets and yelling “Crikey!” at the top of their lungs.

So I decided it was time to set the record straight. Because being Australian is about more than just drinking beer and fooling tourists with our off-beat sense of humour.

Oh, wait. Maybe it’s not.

Anyway, today I’m over at Twinisms, one of my favourite (and favorite) blogs, guest posting about some of the common misconceptions about Australia. With some good ol’ Aussie humour (and humor) thrown in. Go over and read it.

Click here.

Or here.

Or even here.

Come on, click already.

And once you’ve read my post, be sure to check out the rest of the blog. Seriously, Bridget from Twinisms is one of the funniest, irreverent and down-to-earth people in the known universe. Plus, she’s got twins. Two sets. Because that’s just how she rolls.


Filed under Random Stuff

Spider-Man Saves You Time

Like many of us in the modern world, I often feel that there’s not enough hours in the day. That logically translates to there not being enough days, weeks and months in the year. It’s something we all complain about ad nauseum, but there seemed to be no solution. Until now.

All those self-help gurus who tell you that “Everyone has 24 hours!” and “You can do more in the time you have!”? Yeah, they’re lying.

When there’s just not enough time to accomplish what you want to accomplish, when you find yourself sitting around in December wondering what happened to the rest of the year, there’s only one person you should call.


Because this is the calendar we bought Big Brother for 2013.

Spiderman Calendar

I can only hope one of those extra months is called Spidember.


Filed under The Inner Geek

A Letter From the FBI

Picture by cliff1066

When I was a teenager, I was what most people considered to be a “good girl”. Sure, I skipped class on a regular basis, talked back to teachers, and occasionally lied to my parents. But who doesn’t, right? I didn’t take drugs, drink underage, or sneak around at night. I got good grades at school. And I didn’t commit crimes.

While many things have changed over the last twenty years, I’m still not a criminal.

So I wasn’t at all worried when I discovered I’d received an email from the FBI.

And not just some random person at the FBI, either. A couple of days ago I got a letter from one Mark F. Giuliano. According to the signature on his email, he’s the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Atlanta Division. But I know better than to believe everything I read on the interwebs, so I did a quick google search to double-check.

(Yes, I do see the irony in using the internet to check the validity of something I saw on the internet. And my response to that is here.)

According to a National Press Release from the FBI on October 3rd this year, Mr Giuliano was, indeed, named as the Special Agent in Charge  of Atlanta Division. So this letter is clearly legitimate. Sure, it came from an IP address located in Japan, but that was clearly just the FBI being secretive and tricky…. Right?

Without further ado, here is the letter I received. (I hope posting it here isn’t illegal. Please contact me if there’s any problems, Special Agent!)

From the office of Agent Mark F. Giuliano
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Atlanta Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Intelligence field unit
2635 Century Parkway N.E,
Suite 400 Atlanta, GA 30345 USA
Urgent Attention:
I am Special Agent Mark F. Giuliano from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Atlanta Division) Intelligence Unit. We have just intercepted and confiscated two (2) trunk boxes at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta international airport, and are on the verge of moving it to our bureau head quarters.
We have scanned the said boxes, and have found it to contain a total sum of USD$4.5M and also backup document which bears your name as the receiver of the money contained in the boxes. Investigations carried out on the diplomat who accompanied the boxes into the United States has it that he was to deliver this fund to your residence as your contract/inheritance payment which was due you from the office of finance Minster of the federal government of Nigeria.
We cross-checked all legal documentation in the boxes, and were about to release the consignment to the diplomat, when we found out that the boxes is lacking one very important documentation which as a result, the boxes have been confiscated until the required document is provided.
According to section 229 subsections 31 of the 1991 constitution on release of unclaimed consignment payment, your consignment lacks funds ownership certificate and for that reason you must contact me for direction on how to procure this certificate, so that your consignment can be legally cleared and okay for delivery to you.
You are required to contact this bureau within 72 hours or we would take it that you do not want your consignment, and would move it to the treasury Also, you must not contact any other bank for any payment, because your payment is here in care of our storage vault team and will be released to you once you follow my directives
 You have been warned.
Yours in service,
Mark F. Giuliano
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Atlanta Division


Although I’m very pleased to get this letter, and to discover that all the emailing I did a few weeks back with that Nigerian Prince has paid off, I’m a little concerned. In fact, I’m more than a little concerned. I’m fairly sure that diplomat was trying to steal the funds that rightly belong to me and the Prince. What other possible reason would he have to fly into Atlanta, when my arrangements called for the funds to be brought to me in AUSTRALIA.

I’ve written back to Mr Guiliano, of course, asking that he immediately arrest the diplomat and send the money back to Nigeria so it can be forwarded to me with a more reputable ambassador of the Prince. Hopefully I’ll receive notification from him soon that my arrangement is back on track.

But in all seriousness, I’m impressed that the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Atlanta Division would have taken the time out of his busy schedule to contact me about this, and that he didn’t simply keep that $4.5 million for himself. Gods bless the FBI.

Have you ever had a letter from Mark F. Guiliano? How about other FBI agents?


Filed under Random Stuff, The Inner Geek

Wherein I Retain My Sanity (At the Cost of a Little Bit of Magic)

Big Brother is five and a half years old. But he doesn’t talk the way I imagine a five and a half year old boy should talk. Take the exchange we had yesterday morning, for example:

Me: Please eat your cereal properly
BB: I’d prefer to eat it like this
Me: You may eat your cereal properly, please. Drinking the milk from the bowl is impolite
BB: (thinks for a minute) No, I think you’re incorrect.

Seriously, is that the way most five year olds converse? Please tell me that’s completely normal.

But it’s not just the words he uses (all children describe their dinner as “delightful”, right?), it’s also the way he can’t just come out and say anything directly. There always has to be a story.

“When I was in Dinosaur World, my four uncles and I went to the zoo one day. But it wasn’t a zoo where they kept dinosaurs in cages, it was a zoo where dinosaurs could go and see people in cages. But it was okay because my uncles and I all dressed up as dinosaurs. I was a velociraptor, Bear was a T-Rex, Mole was a pachycephalosaurus, Kizzay was a brachiosaurus, and Silly was a pterodactyl. And when we wanted something to eat we had to go to the shop and buy some food, and they had lots of different things to eat, like chips and hamburgers and hot dogs and salad and sandwiches and bread rolls and lots of other things, and also sushi. And my uncles all had sushi for lunch.”

Long pause.

“Can I have sushi for lunch today?”

As you may remember, I’ve been sick for the last couple of weeks. My patience is not exactly at an all-time high. And the one thing guaranteed to send the remnants of a mother’s patience spiralling into oblivion is the need to remind a small child to eat their dinner over and over and over and over (and over) again.

“Eat you dinner please, Big Brother.”

“I am eating. I’m chewing. See?”

“Keep eating please.”

“Okay. But first I’m just going to build stairs with my cutlery….”

“Are you eating, Big Brother?”

“No, I’m drinking. Which is a kind of eating. Only it’s drinking. *starts laughing* Wouldn’t it be funny if eating was drinking and drinking was eating and you had to drink your food? That would be so awesomesauce.”

And so on, and so on, ad nauseam.

The other night, after at least thirty minutes of this type of conversation interspersed with brief moments of peaceful respite as he actually consumed some of the dinner I’d cooked, I’d had enough. I couldn’t take it anymore. I told Big Brother I’d be back soon, and I fled the dining room to hide for five quiet minutes in the bathroom.

Three minutes later, the door was gently pushed aside and Big Brother stood there. Watching me. With a big smile on his face.

“Mummy?” he asked.

“Yes,” I answered in what may or may not have been a less enthusiastic tone of voice than usual.

“One time in Dinosaur World–”

And I interrupted him. Because my sanity could take no more long, convoluted tales of imaginary worlds and people. “Big Brother?” I said. (If I was inclined to use dialog tags other than ‘said’, I might have chosen to replace this one with the word ‘pleaded’.) “Can you just tell me what it is you want? I don’t want to hear a story, okay?”

And he looked at me, his beautiful blue eyes all wide and innocent. And his voice trembled a little as he said, “But I like stories.”

And somewhere deep inside my own story-loving heart, a little piece of magic was lost.

Do your children tell stories? Do you ever accidentally damp their enthusiasm?


Filed under Life With Kids