Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 415 - Baby Talk

It probably wasn't much longer than a month ago when I questioned how much Emma and Andrew actually understood when I spoke. Anytime I talked to them I was answered with a blank stare and, if lucky, a little drool. But what a difference a month makes!

I feel like we are starting to make a little headway into the world of two way communication with the kids. And how ironic this would happen the same time when I think I'm also making progress communicating with Lisa after eight years of marriage. Instead of throwing dishes at me when I ask her a question, Lisa replies with grunts and spit. I hope in a few weeks we can make a giant step forward with one syllable words.

There is a definite difference between Emma and Andrew and the way they are advancing with their attempts at communication. Andrew listens to us when he wants to listen. Most of the time he's too busy playing with his stacking cups or terrorizing Emma. But there are fleeting moments when I know he understands what we are saying. He knows simple words like "clap", "wave", and "steal second base". Yet I don't think he has the focus and interest that Emma has with us.

Emma seems to be much more engaged with us when we talk to her, and this makes a big difference. Andrew might understand just as much as Emma, but Emma actually does what we ask her to do. She knows a few body parts (nose, ear, belly button, fallopian tube), and does a few more tricks than Andrew (dances, rubs her tummy if something is yummy, simple algebra).

This week, she did a few things she has never done before: 1) When I patted the floor and asked her to sit, she sat down next to me. 2) I was across the room from her and asked her if she wanted me to read her a book. I did the baby sign language for book, and she walked to the shelf, picked up a book, and brought it to me. 3) When I read a picture book to her, I told her these animals were called ducks. She said, "...duh...duh..." And when I turned the page and there were some birds in the air, she pointed to the birds and said "...duh...duh..." That's when I scolded her and said, "You idiot! Those are pigeons!"

Now I don't want you to think that I'm bragging about our kids. If there's one thing that bothers me, it's arrogance and a sense of superiority. And I'm far from that. Sure our kids may eventually excel in math, science, and shaping little plants into trees, but that's in our Japanese genetics -- that's not bragging.

Whatever may seem like bragging on my part would actually be one of two things. First, it would just be excitement. For those of you who aren't parents yet, you'll eventually understand kids are gigantic time suckers. All of the things you used to enjoy don't necessarily disappear, but you have less time to do them because you're spending all your time taking care of the kids. So if all your time is with your kids, it's only natural that the things you get excited about revolves around the kids. Thrilling things like teething, temper tantrums, and bowel movements.

Secondly, something construed as bragging on my part would actually be an indication that I'm in between jobs, bored, desperate for adult conversation, and under pressure to write something -- anything -- for this now. I mean, really. Give me a break. I'm home alone with thirteen month babies and peeling grapes to keep my sanity. I'm going out of mind! Call Dr. Oz! Call Dr. Phil! Call Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem! Anyone!!!

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