Friday, April 29, 2011

Bagpipers, backhoes, and plastic thingies

"What's that?" Jordan probably says this 734 times a day.

He points and says, "Ooh, what's that?"

He always makes it sound like it's something he's never seen before in his life and the most exciting thing ever.

Except sometimes you know he's faking it when you see what he's pointing at and you're all, "You know very well that it's cake, my friend."

But he loves new things, and it's so cool to see someone starting from scratch, you know? The whole world is new and exciting. And we live in an urban neighborhood, and so just walking around the block is an adventure.

Brick! Nice doggie! Garbage! Ramp! Ramp! Jordan running!

Nick took him to Home Depot last weekend. Jordan learned forklift. Except he calls it "forklips."

He came home very excited about the forklips.

And sometimes you realize you're making things more complicated than they are. Like when he pointed to a picture of a man with bagpipes on a plastic cup that we have.

"What's that?"

"A bagpiper. See the bagpipes? Baaagpiiiper. Bagpi..." (What the hell am I doing?) "It's a man."


Because of Jordan, I've learned what a backhoe is. It's one of those enormous yellow machines with a big scooper thingy attached. You see them all over town wherever they're digging up the roads replacing pipes and bringing traffic to a standstill. Who knew?

He points out all kinds of machinery as we walk by, and sometimes he'll identify them - "Backhoe! Digger! Scooper!" The truth is, I have no idea, so I'm all, "Yes! A good digger!"

There are lots of construction machines I do not know. So when he asks, I just say, "Big machine!"

And sometimes he will ask me the name of something I have no idea how to name. Like that plastic piece that your water sits on when you're getting water out of the fridge.

"What's that?"

"Um. That's. A plastic thingy."

"A pastic singy."

"That's right! Plastic thingy!"

Nick calls this unhelpful. But I'm telling you, if Jordan ever asks for the plastic thingy, I'll know what he's talking about.

Happy weekend, all!


  1. I've just got to say, I think this is the toddler equivalent of saying "Because I said so, that's why!" Not that I see anything AT ALL wrong with saying either of those things.

  2. Plastic thingy, ok, fine, I trust 100% that you'll know what he's talking about. Just remember to hip the sitter!

  3. In the corner of their kitchen, my parents have a beautiful, handmade wooden cabinet that was passed down through the family. It stands about 4.5 feet high and maybe 2.5 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep. The bottom half has shallow drawers for storage; the top half is one large cabinet that contains a built-in, 2-level lazy suzan. My mom uses it as a pantry of sorts, mostly holding canned/dry goods. When my parents inherited this lovely piece of furniture and put it into our kitchen (I was quite young at the time), no one quite knew what to call it. "Cabinet" was too ambiguous--we had many cabinets. One day, when helping my mom cook dinner, she needed something out of the lazy-suzan portion of this particular cabinet. She turned her head over her shoulder as she busied herself chopping vegetables, and said, "Sweetie, would you get me a can of olives out of the whirly-gig?"

    From that day forward, that cabinet was permanently known as "the whirly-gig." Call it by any other name, and no one in the house will know what in hell you're talking about, but mention "whirly-gig," and we all know exactly which cabinet you mean.

    I'd say "plastic thingy" is just as good as "whirly-gig" long as you're discriminating. Too many "plastic thingies" and everyone's bound to get confused. :)

  4. I love how excited children are about life and teaching them new words is fun. What else would you call the plastic thingy?

  5. Worchestershire sauce will forever be known as "Peep peep" sauce in our house due to an unfortunate incident where my brother screamed bloody murder for it until my dad went to the cupboard and held him so he could point to what he wanted. I love my family.


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