These days, my 1-year-old has a lot to say. Mostly about cheese, but he has other interests as well. The mind of a toddler is a mysterious place. However, there are keys to this hidden kingdom, in the form of occasionally recognizable syllables, shining like Shakespearean sonnets in a sea of caveman-like grunts. And just what is on my little man's mind? Here is a list of the top five things that would appear to be of utmost importance to him, based on his newfound ramblings.
1. His sippy cup. All day long we hear demands of "CUP CUP CUP CUP CUP." It's the first thing my son says upon waking in his crib, and the last thing he says before settling to sleep. I don't know what it is about this BPA-free wonder. Maybe it's the Kermit-green hue. Maybe he's been brainwashed by Gerber. Maybe someone's been spiking his two percent milk. Either way, that cup is first and foremost on the little guy's agenda.
2. Cheese. Throughout the day, we are treated to incessant demands for "cheese" of all kinds. Oddly, the same response is elicited whenever my son sees a camera, at which point he dons a huge smile and belts out "C-H-E-E-S-E" as though he were modeling for Velveeta. Clearly, he has spent way too much time in front of a camera.
3. Food. Or, more specifically, "foo!" This linguistic triumph covers a plethora of culinary delights, from the aforementioned cheese to cookies (with strong emphasis on the latter). I'm pretty sure he has some sort of alarm implanted in his diaper that alerts him every time the refrigerator door opens. Either that, or the "foo" is covertly communicating with him in a pitch only toddlers can hear. Either way, that boy is hungry.
4. His shoes. When my son isn't waxing philosophical about cheese, he's sharing strong opinions about his shoes. Whether he's demanding they be placed on his feet immediately or he's flinging them across the car, we are treated to myriad thoughts about footwear throughout the day.
5. Mama. This, of course, is my favorite of his verbal achievements. No matter what the context (as in "Mama, cheese!" or "Mama, cup!"), there are few words that make Mommy melt like this two-syllable masterpiece. Sure, he also says "Dada" and "Sis," and those are nice too, I guess, but there's nothing like the powerful eloquence of "Mama" to get me racing to the fridge to grab him more "foo."
I'm sure as my son grows, his vocabulary will expand and we'll learn more about what he's really thinking. Until then, I'm content to enjoy these deep conversations about the finer things in life -- food, drink, and every child's favorite co-star, Mommy.