Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Toddler Communication

I am beyond thrilled to have a boy whose vocabulary is ever increasing. He is saying more words than I can keep up with and seems to say new things and make new connections every day. I read yesterday that toddlers who are Isaac's age have the ability to increase their vocabulary by 10 words every day. That's pretty incredible if you ask me. I mean, when was the last time I learned 10 new words in a single day?

It's pretty fun to have conversations with Isaac these days. He's putting words together that actually make sense together. And I would be lying if I didn't say that life is so much easier having a baby that can verbalize what's going on, what he needs, whether he's hungry or not, where he's hurting, and on and on.

But that doesn't mean that toddler communication is without its share of difficulties. Insert eye roll.

For one, Isaac has entirely forgotten that he does know the word "YES" and what it means. Every single question is answered with a "No."  Insert any question that requires a yes/no answer, even the obvious "yes." It goes a little something like this:
Isaac: (staring at me) Foooooood
Me: Are you hungry? 
Isaac: No. 
Isaac: (eating crackers)
Me: Are you eating crackers?
Isaac: No.
Isaac: (seeing a beach towel, points to it) Pooooooooool
Me: Can we go to the pool?
Isaac: No.  
 Me: Ok, we won't go to the pool. 
Isaac: POOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!
Me: Do you want to go to the pool?
Isaac: No.
You see where I'm getting at? I'm kind of over this No phase. Hopefully it's short lived. Luckily for Isaac, his mom has higher reasoning skills, so I know that even though he says "No" to food at dinner time, he really means "Yes," and even though he says "No" to all diaper changes (and means it), I'm not about to let him stink up the house with a major bomb on board.

There's also the little issue of translating his toddlerspeak. You know you've met that kid who's rambling non stop and even though what's coming out doesn't sound anything like English, the kid's mom is there to translate (who knew "abeeeennngasterrrr" means "lets all sit down and have dinner together"). I'd estimate that 80% of Isaac's language is pretty easy to understand, but there's at least 10% of his words that all sound too similar to be distinguished without context clues.... Then there's the 10% that I don't even understand. Even with context clues.

Like this one (a frequent Isaacism that I still haven't figured out)
Isaac: Beeeeeeeng.
Isaac: Beeeeeeeng.
Isaac: Beeeeeeeng! Beeeeeeeeng!!! BEEEEEEEEAAAANG!
Me: ...
I keep waiting for him to point to something that will clarify this mystery word. Sometimes I'll even repeat the word hoping that something will magically click between us and our communication will be restored. It hasn't yet.

Maybe Isaac will never read this. I hope he doesn't. In the off chance that one day in several years he can read and thinks to himself, "Hey I should go through the archives of my mom's old blog and see what she used to write about me as a toddler" and actually does stumble upon this mildly sarcastic complaining post about his toddlerspeak,.... I think I'll leave out the last of my toddler communication woes: the "I'm really saying ___ word but it comes out sounding like an expletive."

That one's always fun at church.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HA! I can totally relate! My son said "Waygo" for weeks, and always with a smile. I gave the "huh?" look everytime, until one day I was like "wiggle?" and he was SO EXCITED that I figured it out! Now, we say WIGGLE together, while WIGGLING together! :)

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