I translate things. Both the little jubs are experimenting with language.
Laylee likes to make up words and then tell me that they are Spanish for “I want a cheese stick” or “Where’s the rubber chicken?” She’ll say, “Spanish for shoes is sav-wato or also peek-oo-lee-toe.” I nod and smile. Sometimes I thank her for the lesson and sometimes I respond with some “Spanish” of my own.
Magoo speaks in a language all his own. It has lots of consonants strung together by grunts and its structure is repetitive in nature. You know how dumb English speakers will sometimes yell at some poor non-English speaker very slowly, hoping that the sheer volume and flying spit of their words will trip something in the person’s brain and they’ll suddenly be blessed with the gift of tongues?
Well, Magoo’s kind of like those people, except he gets progressively faster in his repetition, rather than slower. “Ma-pallow, Ma-pallow, Ma-pallow, Ma-pallow, Ma-pallow, Ma-pallow, Ma-pallow, Ma-pallow, MA-PALLOOOOOOWWWW!!!”
He will not switch to a new word until I have successful guessed the current word. All I have to do is figure out that he is saying “marshmallow,” tell him “no,” comfort him as he buries his face in his hands and howls and he’s good to go.
Another fun game of repetitively seeking to be understood is “WOOK.” This game is played by pointing into the back yard, a crowded room, or a large mound of miscellaneous garbage at the dump and yelling “WOOK, WOOK, WOOK!” while vaguely waving your finger at one specific item the size of a dust mite.
To win this game, the parent needs to identify the object, state its name, show an unreal amount of enthusiasm for said object or simply hit herself over the head with a mallet, forcing buddy Magoo to run off seeking a new, un-limp playmate.