The Importance of Being Verbal

by anna on June 19, 2009

Mini experimenting with all terrain vehicles last week.

Mini experimenting with all terrain vehicles last week.

Monday

Me: Mini, how about we go upstairs and change your diaper?
Mini: No!
Me: Dude, we’ve got to go change that diaper. You’re stinking up the joint.
Mini: No Mama, want play choo.
Me: You want to play with your trains? Did you just say that?

Mini: YEAH, MOMMA, want play choo.

Me: Wait, when did you learn to talk?

Mini: Uh-oh.

Me: Exactly.

Tuesday Afternoon

Mini: [points at book] Whassthis?

Me: Those are cows.
Mini: Tao.
Me: Cow. Cows say, ‘Mooo!’
Mini: Yah, Tao!
Me: Say Cow.
Mini: YAH MOMMA, TAO!!
Me: Moo?

Tuesday Evening

Me: We can rock in the chair for a few more minutes, but it’s almost sleepy time. OK, bud?

Mini: TAO!

Me: What about a cow?

Mini: YAH, TAO!

Me: You want to hear a story about a cow?

Mini: Yesh. TAO.

Me: OK, once upon a time there was a little boy cow and he lived with his mama cow and his daddy cow–
Mini: CHOO!
Me:–and that baby cow loved choos very much. Every day, he would walk down to the train station to see the choos–
Mini: RAWR!
Me:–which just so happened to be engineered by a giant RAWR. And the RAWR who drove the train would always wave to the little boy cow as he drove by, and the little boy would say, “Bye, bye, choo-RAWR, bye bye!”
Mini: Bye-bye! Buh-bye choo!
Me: That’s right, he’d say, ‘Bye-bye’ to the choo. And then–
Mini: MEOW!
Me: OK, if you lie down, then Daddy will come in and tell you about meows.

Wednesday Morning

Me: Good morning, sunshine!
Mini: TAO!

Wednesday Afternoon

Mini: eslalales MAMMA! [pointing at TV screen]
Me: Eh, maybe. She’s a little young to be a mamma, buddy.
Mini: es MAMAMA!
Me: Do you mean she’s a girl?
Mini: esun Mamma!
Me: OK, I guess.
Mini: MAS!
Me: Mas what? Mas strawberries?
Mini: No, MAS BALL.
Me: What do you mean ‘Mas ball’? Your ball is over there–do you want it?
Mini: No, MAS BALL [holds up grape]
Me: That’s not a ball, but it looks like a ball.
Mini: NO, BALL!
Me: It looks like a ball. You want mas grapes?
Mini: MAS BALL.
Me: I maintain that they’re not balls. They’re grapes.

Mini: nononono MAS BALL! MAS BALL!
Me: OK, fine, you’re the boss. Mas BALL it is.

{ 12 comments }

eliz June 19, 2009 at 7:01 am

It’s the most amazing thing to witness, isn’t it? We had been worried shortly before 2 and dithered over having a speech evaluation done. The evaluation showed she was a month or two behind based on her age and then, a few weeks later, the sentences started popping out. We all know there’s a lot going on in their brains, but when they can finally tell you, it’s like, “There’s another real person living in this house!”

Kerry June 19, 2009 at 7:32 am

If I remember right, “mas” means more in Spanish. Little dude is bilingual already. Cool.

My youngest is 21.5 months and not really talking, except for a word here and there. Our evaluation is scheduled for the middle of next month. I’m not looking forward to it at all.

Kerry´s last blog post..What AOL Taught Me About Using Social Networking to Find a Job

abdpbt June 19, 2009 at 8:10 am

Yes, he understands English and Spanish equally pretty much at this point. If you ask him how old he is, he might say two, but it you ask him to say “two,” he will say, “dos.” If you ask him if he wants “more,” he will say, “Yesh, MAS.” lol

bessie.viola June 19, 2009 at 8:34 am

Oh, my gosh, I am cracking up at him. Love that he’s intermingling English and Spanish – CUTE.

That last conversation reminds me of one that I have with my daughter on a near-daily basis, in which she convinces me to refer to an orange as an apple. “APP-UH!” she’ll cry. And I’ll hand it to her, insisting “Orange! Can you say ORANGE?” To which she gleefully cries “APP-UH!!”

Well, I guess they’re all in the same bowl, anyway. So it counts for something, right? :)

bessie.viola´s last blog post..that mom

The Mother June 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Never argue with a child about word choice. They can always finagle a way around to prove their point.

Never argue with a child about religion, either. They have an uncanny knack of looking at the world in a pristine way, exposing hypocrisy as they go.

The Mother´s last blog post..The Whore of Babylon (NefHxMotherhood)

eliz June 20, 2009 at 10:56 am

@Kerry – Speech evals are extremely frustrating because your child probably won’t perform for a stranger. I spent a lot of time during the eval saying to the speech therapist, “She *can* do this” or “I’ve heard her say that before.” They take the parent’s word for it mostly, but I have no idea how they can make an accurate assessment when the toddler won’t even make eye contact with the therapist. Take the results with a grain of salt and trust your gut. And then wait for the verbal explosion that will happen a few weeks after the eval.

Kerry June 20, 2009 at 11:56 am

Yeah, I’m sort of counting on there being a verbal explosion after they leave. For me, parenting got infinitely more fun when my oldest started to talk, so the delay is frustrating on every level.

Part of my deal is that I had a very, very difficult pregnancy with the youngest in particular. Even though I know intellectually that there’s probably no connection (and there was nothing I could have done anyway), it’s hard not to feel guilty. My oldest was also in daycare at this stage, whereas my youngest has been home with me since he was 10 months old…so you can’t help but wonder what you’re doing or not doing that makes this somehow ALL YOUR FAULT.

I am amazed at all the shapes and sizes mama guilt comes in, y’know?

anna June 20, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I really think that they are kind of crazy about the speech stuff these days. Mini has been saying certain words all the time since very early on, and on occasion he’d do something like hand me a book and say, “READ THIS.” But I didn’t really consider him to be talking until very recently, because he started busting out with full sentences of understandable words regularly.

When we went to the two year checkup, they asked me if he knew 50 words, and I was like, “Jeez I dunno.” But I knew that he understood everything we said. But he had jabbered so I didn’t worry about it. Every other person I talk to says the pediatrician has made them worry. I mean, honestly, can speech “delay” possibly be that common? I cannot imagine it is.

The Lawyer Mom June 20, 2009 at 4:24 pm

It’s great that you’re writing down these funny vignettes. I wish I’d done more of that . . . something hysterical happens and you are so sure you’ll never forget it. But you do.

eliz June 21, 2009 at 8:06 am

We had reason to expect a speech delay (international adoption and all) but it never really materialized. However, the therapist who did Tink’s two evaluations did perform a mommy drive-by when she oh-so casually mentioned that she had potty trained all four her by 24 months, not a minute later. So even as she was reassuring me that Tink’s receptive speech was slightly advanced and that we might want to consider some speech therapy if she didn’t progress much in the coming months she was doing the mommy superiority dance. If it’s not one thing it’s another.

Kerry June 22, 2009 at 7:41 am

I think they’re overcautious with the speech thing because of the rise of autism (and the activism of parents of autistic children). Apparently, early intervention is a big factor in how well autistic kids do down the road, and doctors don’t want to be sued for having missed the window.

jenni June 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm

i know, they just wake up one day and start talking and conveying thoughts and stuff. like real people.

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