Monday, July 25, 2011

So Much to Say

My child talks. And talks. And talks. It is not normal English. I like to think she uses her own dialect. It is a lot of gibber-jabber with normal words thrown in. For example, the other day she came up to me and said, "Mama meath bwah wah mommy shee sha, moo nie, color." I don't speak Alice-ese fluently, but I can decipher the basic request. She wanted to color. Her communication style also involves a lot of hand waving, shrugs and head nods. It is like watching Telemundo. Lots of big gestures, crazy facial expressions, a few words you understand, and a lot that you have never heard. But if you watch long enough, you start to get the general idea.

Lady Baby loves an audience and the more attention she gets, the more animated she gets. When she really gets going with what appears to be a one woman show, I just say uh-huh, really, yes, and other affirming words to keep things going. That is fuel to my child's verbal fire. She loves audience participation. Interestingly enough, she also has no qualms with performing to an empty room. It is not strange for me to be in the kitchen and hear her in the den talking to her toys. Poor Minnie Mouse, I am sure she is thankful that her ears are filled with stuffing.

While the majority of her words are not real words (at least to my ears) everyday she gets a new word or phrase that blows me away. Yesterday she handed her snack trap to her daddy and said "here ya go." We just looked at each other like, did we just hear that right? What I have also discovered is that words that were previously undecipherable are slowly evolving into real words. For a long time she was saying "mine, two." I assumed two was still her only number and like everything else, she owns it. The other day I realized the "mine" portion was starting to sound more like "one." I guess practice does make perfect. 

For months I felt like a verbal label maker. I said the name to everything Her Highness came into contact with. Chair, table, shoe, apple, milk. I was starting to annoy myself.  In what I can only assume was an effort to make me stop, Miss Priss took over for me and has become the Captain Obvious of our house. She picks up a shoe, and says "shoe." She pats the dog and says "doggie." Then she sees her stuffed Mickey and screeches "Mitcky" (yes, she puts a T in there for some reason). And on and on it goes. She does not need audience participation for this portion of the program. I think she is doing it for herself not for our benefit. 

Life has gotten easier and harder now that she can communicate. Chatty Baby will tell me what she wants (sometimes), when she is done with something (sometimes), and when she has a poop (sometimes). I have to be careful about leading the witness though. If I use a word she knows in a question, she often just repeats that word. For example, I say "Alice, do you want a smoothie?" Her reply is "moothie." This leads me to believe she wants one. I give it to her and she immediately throws in on the ground and screams. Grrrr, but my fault because she is just repeating what she hears. At that point I remind myself that she is 18 mos, not 18 years.  

While some things are easier, her ability to use words has become challenging in many situations. She is extremely loud and the more you shush her the louder she gets until she reaches a pitch that causes things to happen. Like the check to arrive. Most restaurants are hard unless they have terrible acoustics and everyone has to yell. Then we are good, and the dirty looks and sympathetic head wags are only from those with the bad luck to be seated right next to us. As opposed to the entire place, including wait staff. Also, Busy Baby has started saying things in context. Seems good, right? Not when you are in a bathroom in public and she is saying poop over and over, despite me repeatedly telling her it is only a number one. Cue red face upon leaving the bathroom.

The number one best thing about having a talker is her newest favorite phrase, "I love you." It sounds like "I wuv you," but that only makes it cuter to her parents (barf). But there is something to be said about loving someone unconditionally for 18mos and suddenly one day you are riding home from Target and said person starts telling you repeatedly that she loves you. It's pretty freakin' awesome. The other night after a particularly long, tough day I was putting Sweet Girl to bed and she hugged me tight, gave me a big slurpy lick/kiss and told me she loved me. It made it all worth it, plus some. I instantly forgave her for hiding my flip flop, writing on the couch with a pen, and saying mama on endless repeat for the entire day. None of that mattered anymore. I put my little angel in bed and left the room with my mommy-glow back intact. 



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