I have never understood the concept of 'baby talk'. Cooing is one thing, but an adult attempting to speak in baby language (think condescending tone, and replacing r's with l's - you get the drift) just makes me cringe inwardly. Soothing tones aside, I have been very fortunate that the elders in the family are not partial to talking to the kids in a language which makes them strong candidates for speech therapy.
We have always talked to BabyMoo using the English Language as we know it. His Oma speaks to him in Indonesian, as does her helper. My in laws speak to him in English, with a smattering of Teochew and the needful Mandarin. He has been exposed to these languages since he was born, and I often attribute him starting to speak at a pretty late stage (he only started his 'one-word's when he turned two last January) to his attempting to process the multiple speech patterns.
Once he started, however, there seems no stopping him. As soon as he discovered that he was able to get things faster and therefore minimise his frustrations by telling us exactly what he wanted - every day is a startling revelation for us. From one word, it became two, and then he started stringing words together. All this in a space of a mere two weeks.
He started full day childcare last Monday. I was told that school and exposure to other kids will encourage him to speak up more, and true enough... it sure did! Within these six days he was in school, apart from the adjustments which he (and I!) had to go through - the experience, it seems, has been wonderful in all other aspects. Heart wrenching times aside, I come home to a happy boy who's genuinely pleased to see me, runs to the door and hugs me tight no matter how preoccupied he is with toys or TV at that moment. I've also noticed a remarkable change in him. He is so much more independent, responsive and chatters non-stop! He now knows that speaking up will ensure that things get done, and he is able to get a corresponding response from others just by telling us exactly what he wants.
"Mama... Haaalp meee! / Take me! / Wait meeeee!"
BabyMoo: "I want, pish? Mama, pish?"
Me: "No... it's 'MUMMY'!"
BabyMoo: "Mymmeh... pish? I want. Take me?"
(when I give whatever it was that strikes his fancy then): "Mymmeh Tank Yooo!"
Me: Do you love Mummy?
BabyMoo: Naw!! Wuv Daddih! (grins)
Me: "You only love Daddy? You don't love Mummy?"
BabyMoo: "Naw! Mama!! Oma!" (mock serious face)
Me: "Ok... you don't love Mummy. Mummy is very sad!"
...and then he hugs me tight, and plants a slobbery kiss on my lips.Tell me again why I'm such a sucker when it comes to that boy?
As parents trying to bring our kids up in such a fast paced society, there will no doubt be pressure to have our kids perform, excel, and prepare him as much as we can for life ahead. There will always be nagging doubts in our head, especially when they aren't moving along developmentally with kids of their age range.
I was worried (the way Mums are apt to do) when he used to prefer to use sign language and gestures instead of attempting to speak back then, when other children of his age are already making themselves heard. The hubs will always say that I worry unnecessarily, first when he was still giving us gummy grins at 10 months (he started sprouting teeth at 11 months, cutting two or more at one time successively from then on), then, when he only cruised at 12 months (he started to run after the cruising, without even bothering to take first steps unaided at 14 months) and now, I can't seem to get him to stop chattering... especially when we're in the small confines of the car, and non-stop chatter reverberate!
Ah well. That kid has me hooked on him, and never, ever lets me forget why I love him so.
|When I reached the office this morning, I opened my bag... and this is the sight which greeted me.|
He always knows how to make me smile.