Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
I just never could bring myself to talk to you like you were a baby, even when you actually were a baby.
The closest I ever came was back when you were 7 months old, when one of my ongoing bits with you was to say, ”Ya wanna give ya Daddy-Waddy a kissy-wissy on da wippy-wippy-wippies?”
Basically, I was trying to playfully annoy you by puckering up real big and acting like I was about to kiss you on the lips.
But clearly, I was mocking the concept of “talking baby talk” to you. To actually talk to you the way I was supposed to, all cutesy… just the thought of it somehow made me feel phony.
So since the very beginning, I’ve always spoken to you like an adult. And really, so has Mommy.
You’re 2 years old now and we haven’t changed the way we speak to you. But you, on the other hand, definitely have changed the way you communicate with us.
You are now regularly speaking in 5 word sentences. I know that you grasp a good majority of what I tell you, even if you still haven’t figured out the meaning of the phrase, “I don’t know.”
(Right now, your version of “I don’t know” is just to simply look down at whatever Thomas the Train toy is in your hand until I change the subject.)
The main reason I love the fact you can understand what I say now is because I can more efficiently give you realistic expectations, which helps prevent surprising disappointments.
For example, when it’s nearing time for Nonna and Papa to go back home after a weekend of staying with us, I look you in the eyes and map out the plan so that you are not ambushed and consumed with anxiety a couple of hours later:
“Listen, Jack. I want you to know what to expect. After we eat lunch, it’s going to be time for Nonna and Papa to go back home. So make the most of this time because it will be a few more weeks before you will see them again.”
I am not worried about saying words that are too big for you to understand, because at this point, that would include a lot of words.
For what it’s worth, you can now say the name of Mommy’s home state: “California.” You pull it off quite well.
The way I see it, my use of words beyond your comprehension level (and/or reading level) is a good thing.
Besides, you’re used to it by now: You have a Daddy who has an English degree and a job in writing. For all practical purposes, I’m Ross Geller.
I have a feeling you are going to be one articulate little boy. Can you say “articulate?”
No, seriously… can you?