We were in the car on the way back from the library when we heard a soft voice from the backseat announce, "aaassss!"
I looked at Mike, shocked. I whispered, "did she just say ass?"
"No, she doesn't know that word. Definitely not."
Aurelia repeated loudly, as if she had heard us, "ASS!!!"
We exchanged embarrassed glances, wondering when (and from whom) she had heard the word. Vowing to clean up what we had already thought was squeaky-clean language, we cranked up the Sofia the First soundtrack and I rocked out to "Bigger is Better".
At home, Aurelia stood up on her tippy toes and reached up to the shelf that houses our Don't Break the Ice game. She loves to play this game. And by play I mean that I fit each of those little white blocks into the square perfectly, and then she destroys it all by punching it. Who needs those tiny hammers that come with the game when your fists make quick work of breaking that ish in 5 seconds flat.
She squealed with delight as the red bear fell in and yelled, "aaassss! ASS!"
It clicks. ICE. She means ICE. Not ASS. WE'RE NOT BAD PARENTS! At least not yet.
But she kept saying it while pointing into the kitchen. She toddled in and I followed her. I had just started boiling water for dinner and had set a bag of rice on the counter. She started getting excited. It wasn't until dinner was served that I realized her fervor was the result of the fact that I had set a plate of rice before her. Looks like "aaassss!" also means rice. Got it, sweet pea.
Fast forward to 6:15 AM Saturday morning. I nursed Aurelia and then set her between us in bed. She climbed on my lap, started moving up and down saying, "aaassss!" It's the crack of dawn and I'm in no mood to play with ice nor cook rice and I JUST WANT TO SLEEP and "ASS! Aaassss! Tottt!"
"Aurelia, it's early in the morning and I have no idea what you want."
I hear a grumble from Mike's side of the bed, "HORSE. She wants you to play horsey with her."
I bounce her up and down on my legs and chant, "riding on the horsey riding on the horsey riding on the horsey trot trot trot." Both of the girls love this game.
And now we know it's all about context, and very slight variations:
If we're in the proximity of the game, and it sounds like "aiisssse" she probably wants to play Don't Break the Ice.
If I'm asking her what she wants for dinner and it is reminiscent of the above, then she wants rice.
If we're romping around (or in bed at 6:15 AM and she's climbing in my lap) and it sounds like "aossse" she wants to trot like a horsey.
Toddler speak deciphered. I dread the day when she says "aaassss!" and there's no alternate meaning.