Thursday, October 10, 2013

Look Who's Talking! A Lot.

My little E said her first word, "Mama" at 2-months old. She just mimicked the noises I was making, but I was still impressed. By 4- and 6-months-old, "Dada" "Bee" were favorites, and by the time she was a year old, she was speaking in full sentences.

Then she went through this strange stage, where she could say so many words and phrases but still didn't comprehend what I was saying. There was a lot of crying during that phase, as she tried to figure out how to communicate both ways.

Then, all of a sudden, it clicked, and she started ordering us around, asking for things, and there were fewer tears when I said things like, "You can't eat chalk, but you can play with your dollhouse."

Better understanding of language brought up new questions like, "I put kitty in toilet?" and "I drive car now?" and of course the WHAT'S THATs. My days were spent speaking in 3-word answers: "That's a rock." "That's some lint." "That's my eyebrow." "That's a (really old) green-bean (from under the recliner)." "Don't eat it!"

She still asks the occasional WHAT'S THAT, like yesterday in the waiting room at the doctor's office, when she pointed to a man sitting in the corner and said, loudly, "WHAT IS THAT?"

"That's a man," I said. He laughed.

But, now we've pretty much moved on to having grown up conversations with her. Add the kid-isms, and it makes for some pretty amusing discussions.

"How was your day today, E?"
"Oh, good."
"What did you do."
"We went out to the playground."
"That's nice, what did you do outside?"
"I ate some sand."

Great... I sincerely hope that the sand-eating doesn't happen as often as she reports.

"E, are you going to Nini's and Bee's this weekend?"
"What are you doing to do there?"
"What else?"
"Get a present!!"

She has my in-laws figured out!

In the morning, Mark helps me put her in the car. Before he closes the door, she insists:
"My kiss!"
"Yep, here's a kiss for you, E!"
"My hug..."
"Ok, huggies!"

Yep, we have to stop the car before driving off, so that she and Dada can wave to each other.

She likes to interject random, "Oh, hello, Mommy!"s into the oddest of situations, like as Mark whisks her off to the potty, bare bottom showing, holding her diaper in her hand. The inflection in her voice says, "Ah, well, just another day..."

I'm always so surprised when I hear her do some new talking trick. She already knows her entire alphabet and can count to 10. I praise her each time she recites them, always with a hint of surprise in my voice, and I think, "Wow, is this really my kid?" She's growing up so fast.

Then I think, "Maybe a little too fast..." as she's begun praising me for my accomplishments. The little hint of surprise in her voice is so genuine that it almost sounds like she's mocking me:

"E, how many leaves does this clover have? 1, 2, 3, 4!"
"Good counting, Mommy!" she says, with such pride in her voice.

Why, thank you...!

Then, last night, she got upset and scratched me. The most effective way to prevent this has been to say, "If you're going to act like that, I don't want to play with you right now." I turn away from her or walk to another room to do something else. She usually cries, but last night, she came after me, put her hand on my arm and said, "Come here. Come here..." She patted my arm and said, "What happened?" Her tone was very, "Who hurt you? Do you need me to take care of this?"

"You scratched me!!" I replied.
"I'm sorry," she said, shyly.
Then, in an almost robot-like tone, she said, "I'm sorry, Mommy."

Here, Mom. Here's the exact phrase that will make you forgive me. Got it? Are we good now? Ok, let's go play.

I'm not sure she's getting the point... but we're learning together, there are fewer scratching incidents, and we're getting along much better now. She's still acting all wild and is into everything she can get her hands on.

Side Note: Someone tell me that this is normal and will pass soon: in one hour, we move from cooking in the kitchen to playing in the sink to painting to drawing to drawing with chalk, to playing dollhouse to trying on hats to trying to get into the fridge to eating a snack to hiding behind the fan eating chalk, to fits of giggles to tears of misery...

The good thing: all of this, every crazy minute, every precious and not-so-precious moment? We're talking about them!

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