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An Anthropological Examination of the 2-Year-Old Mind

As a follow-up to my previous post, “Stop Bitching,” I thought I would perform an ethnographic study of a full day’s worth of my 2-year-old’s demands. I found this process to be so enlightening that I have decided to share the transcript with you.

I have not included any general statements my 2-year-old made or any questions she asked. Nor am I recounting anything that my other two children asked, said or demanded during the course of the day.

What follows is simply a complete record of what my 2-year-old required, between the hours of approximately 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., minus the times that she was out of my earshot, asleep, or being ignored.

While reading this compilation, please note that I have tried to show where she made certain requests multiple times in quick succession. Perhaps my accounting could be off, at moments, by a factor of 10. It also helps to know that she often accompanied her exhortations with a whine or other such disagreeable emission. When needed, I have added my best attempt at clarification, but due to aforementioned decoding issues, my interpretations could be inaccurate.

5:27 a.m.: “I want get up! I want daddy! I want go downstairs. I want go downstairs now! I want bring books. I want yogurt drink. I want books on chair. I want nuts. I want juice. I want get down. I want cereal. I want daddy play Barbies. I want this off. I want go outside. I want Georgia’s blip blops. Where Georgia’s blip blops? I want basement. I want cocs” (i.e. “Crocs”). “I want Sandy, Harry” (my husband’s aunt and uncle who live in Delaware). “I want do my sunglasses. I want hold macaroni cheese.” (She wanted to hold the sunblock that her brother once said smelled like macaroni and cheese.) “I want ‘Caillou.’” (Multiply by 13.) “More sunblock. More singing!” (She wanted me to sing “Short’nin' Bread.”) “I don’t wanna see monkeys. I want little crackers. I don’t wanna sit down. I want do self. Let’s go zoo, mommy!” (Multiply by 7.) “I want mommy carry me. I want two” (crackers). “Let’s go! I want more crackers.”

At the zoo: “I don’t wanta go in stroller. I wanna go in stroller. I want some” (food? reading suggestions?). “I want zebras. No, I want see cheetahs. I want mommy strap.” (She wanted me to strap her in the stroller.) “I want to ride camel. I want hood” (i.e. the shade hood pulled up on her stroller). “I want watch. I want crackers. I want do something else. I want more crackers. I wanna walk. I want mame” (as in edamame). “I want tree house. I wanna go home. I wanna go big egg.” (She wanted to climb into a pretend dinosaur egg at the Philadelphia Zoo.) “I want night, night.”

The car ride home: “I want mommy. I wanna ride in a firetruck.” (This was not technically a demand, since she was singing a song.) “I want my paper. I want it.” (Multiply by 5.) “I want ‘Pumped Up Kicks.’ I want daddy. I wanna go pet store with Gammy. I need to color. I wanna go night, night.” (Yes, she did.)

Post nap: “I don’t want ta go to store.” (No one had said anything about visiting a store.) “I want something to eat. I want animals, right now!” (animal crackers?) “Where’s my bunny crackers? I want magnets. I want green one.” (green, what?) “I want to bring this, mommy” (a piece of construction paper). “I want cheese crackers. I want it. I want Griffin dinosaur. I want me, my lots of pretzels” (untranslatable). “Goody, goody, goody! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!”

At park: “I want daddy.” (My husband was still at work.) “Let’s go, mommy! I want swing. Swing! No more! I want this one, mommy. I want open this” (her juice cup). “I want open juice, mommy. I want mommy open it. I want do merry-a-ground” (merry-go-round). “I want get up! I want mommy push me. Faster! Faster, mommy! More! Push me. Push me, Georgia! More faster. Push me, Griffin. Push me Georgia! I want Georgia push me.” (Multiply by 9.) “Mommy, I want mommy push me. Push me, mommy. I want it! Aaaaaawwwww! Now! I want do monkey bars.” (I was supposed to hold her up and carry her from bar to bar.) “I want color” (in her cheeks? with a crayon?). “I want go up there. I want Georgia get some leaves.” (Neither her sister nor leaves were nearby.) “I want play with Robert.” (We do not know a Robert.) “I want juice. I want Cinderella. I want wash my hands.”

Back home: “I want my own drink. I want my juice. I wanna treat. I want mine. Aaaaawwwww! Mommy, I want my treat. I want have, do with Georgia.” (She wanted a tub with her sister.) “I want sit down by mommy. I want mommy read it” (“Peter Pan”). “I wanna sit mommy’s lap.” (Multiply by 3.) “Read it! I want get up, mommy. I want get up next to mommy. Mommy, blow bubbles!” (She wanted me to make spit bubbles.) “I want jump in snow.” (Her siblings laughed, so multiply by 5.) “I want mommy read this” (“Llama Llama Red Pajama”). “I want read it self. I want juice. One more book!” (Multiply by 11.) “I want blow mommy’s hair. I want Ernie Bert Loud Loud” (a certain, favorite ‘Sesame Street’ book, the real name of which I’ve blocked). “Read this one, daddy. I want daddy tackle Janie” (an annoying game they play). “Moo, la, la, la!” (She wanted to read “Moo Ba La La La.”) “One more book. I want Tylenol.” (She was not sick.) “I want light. Light! One more book. One more!”

The End.

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