What Kids Say vs. What Kids Mean

It’d be nice for our kids to be a bit more forthcoming, but that’s not gonna happen. Here is a quick cheat sheet of the things your offspring will say over the years, and what those things really mean.

The Baby Years


WAAAAHH = I’m hungry/tired/awake/itchy/lonely/cold/hot/gassy.

URRRRR = I’m pooping.

WAAAAHH = I’m hungry/tired/awake/itchy/lonely/cold/hot/gassy again.

PBBBBBT = I am no longer gassy.


The Toddler Years

Mine = It’s not mine, but it should be.

No = I don’t care what you just said, but I didn’t ask you to speak, so, NO.

Pweeeze? = I will use my adorableness to persuade you. Resistance is futile.

MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA = Why did you leave the room for more than three seconds?


The Elementary School Years

Can you come in the bathroom with me? = I don’t like you to enjoy yourself without me.

She did it = I did it.

I CAN’T WALK! I’M HURT! = I have a microscopic knee scrape.

I don’t know. = I do know, but I also know if I say anything else I am toast.


The Middle School Years

Can you help me with this? = Can you do this for me while I snack?

I don’t THINK I have homework. = I think I’d rather go watch funny videos at my friend’s house than do homework.

UGH parents are the WORST. = I am in the throes of puberty. Gear up.

Everyone else is doing it! = I don’t really want to do it but I think I have to do it so please don’t make me look lame.


The High School Years

I like your shirt, Mom = Can I please borrow the car?

I AM STARVING. = It has been 12 minutes since I last ate.

Do you need help with the dishes? = I need some money.

[Stony silence and a slammed door] = I am a teenager and I can’t even.

Photo: Getty