A Nee-nee Lexicon

Tilly calls herself Nee-nee. Sometimes when I’m holding her, she prods her little finger into my chest and says, “Mama. Mama. Mama.” Then she pokes at her own chest and says, “Nee-nee. Nee-nee. Nee-nee.”

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She started putting two words together about a month ago. It’s like a switch flipped and she suddenly gets it. She says “shoes on” and “mama brush” and “Joey book.” She says “Nee-nee turn” and “new hat.” She also says “thank you, mama” (nah-noo, mama). She dropped a little cup through the gate across the back door yesterday and came to me saying, “Pup! Pup! Ah-ooh! Ah-ooh! Did it. Did it.” (Translation: Cup! Cup! Outside! Outside! Get it! Get it!)

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She counts! She speeds her way through the numbers one through ten, with a nice, emphatic EIGHT! I’ve been trying so hard to get it on video but she always clams up. Now, when she starts counting and I comment on it, she says, “moo, moo.” As in, try and take a movie again. Just try.

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Two of my favorite things she says are “other” and “another,” which she pronounces “odjer” and “nunner.” When I’m changing her out of her pjs each morning, she grabs the first foot to emerge and says, “toes!” When the second foot comes out, she delightedly yells, “nunner toe!”

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Chichi = cream cheese
Ei = egg
Nunu = noodle
Doodah = carrot
Doodah = curtain
Doodah = blanket
Doodah = sleepsack

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And speaking of doodahs, Tilly likes to talk through the steps of her bedtime routine and it makes NO SENSE to anyone who is not me, Ned or Josephine. Here’s what Tilly does at bedtime: Are-are, doodah, eddah, buh, nin, doodah. (In case you didn’t catch that, she puts on her pjs, puts on her sleep sack, gets her lovey Elsie, reads a book,  sings, and gets under her blanket. Of course.)

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When we are looking for anything or talking about something we can’t see, she shrugs her shoulders, turns her palms up, and says, “Doe? Doe?” (Where did it go?) And then if we call for it — caaarr! — she follows up with, “aaaaaah due?” (Where are you?)

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Tilly is in love with Josephine’s classmate Nina and can say her name perfectly. When I tell her we’re going to pick up Joey, she often adds, “Nina! Nina!”

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Other words she says perfectly: pee, poop, toot, butt.


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