Toddlers learn that everyone and everything has its place: “You be here!”

On Kaia’s floor bed, she has a regular pillow she sleeps on, two smaller pillows that Chris or I will put our heads on while getting her to fall asleep, plus a cushiony bed bumper between the two sets of pillows. Each night, she knows her side of the bed, though she will usually insist on snuggling up next to or on top of me as she falls asleep. Tonight, when I tried to move so that my body was actually on her side of the bed, she clearly was not a fan. She immediately yelled, sat up, pointed at the two smaller pillows, and said emphatically, “You be here!” She wouldn’t calm down until a few seconds later, when I obediently moved to “my” side of the bed and rested my head on the pillows. At that point, she smiled and lied down next to me, snuggling her head against my neck, stomach down, and eventually drifted to sleep.

Pronouns are a bit tricky for babies and toddlers. They tend to learn these later on, so instead of saying “you” or “I” when I talk to her, I usually say, “Kaia brushes her teeth now, or, “Mummy goes to shower now.” When Kaia says she wants something, she will say “Want” or “wanna” or “wanna wanna.” To date, she has not said “I….” anything. So it was actually pretty cute when instead of saying “mummy,” she said “you” in “You be here!”

The other thing that Kaia is quickly realizing is that everyone or thing has its place or place to be. And well, according to her, my place to be at bedtime is on my two pillows, not on top of her pillow.

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