New Mama Musings

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Art of Noise and Other Forms of Communication

As someone who occasionally needs to be reminded to speak up, I'm shocked to find myself the mother of a toddler who makes more than enough noise for both of us. Sometimes when my husband and I are trying to talk, Henry will start babbling so loudly that we'll throw up our hands and say, "I'll tell you later."

The other day my husband took Henry to the library, where Henry ran around exclaiming about, well, everything. The librarian's observation: "I see we have an enthusiast."

And that's what my boy is, an enthusiast. Everything is worth commenting on, and commenting on, and commenting on, until Mommy or Daddy confirm that, yes, Henry, that is an airplane, and I acknowledge you.

For all his enthusiasm, though, he still gives voice to only a few words. He says "Dada," of course, and he'll say "Mama" upon request. He'll also say "house" if you ask him to, though it comes out more like "hus." The name of the zookeeper in "Good Night, Gorilla" -- Joe -- is another word he'll repeat.

Also, in the past few days I've noticed that he's echoing the first letter of some words -- "dark," "dog," "banana." And then there's inflection -- when you ask him where something is, he'll spot it, then say, "hey yah" ("there it is"). It really seems like he's trying to figure this talking thing out.

His signing, which had stagnated at "more," "dog," "fan" and "toothbrush" (which morphed into an index finger in his mouth, which then became his sign for "want") recently has taken off again, with "milk," "airplane," "finished," "hat" and "eat." His version of "eat" is to make a fist and pound himself in the face with it. Again with the enthusiasm!

Despite the small number of words and signs Henry knows, he's able to pretty effectively communicate with me. I think part of it is the bond we have -- I know how he thinks and what he finds interesting. Often after we've been apart for a bit, while he's playing with Daddy or one of his siblings, he'll run up to me and show me different things. It's clear that he's trying to tell me what he was doing during our separation.

I can't wait to hear what he has to say when he really has the words to express himself. Let's just hope he doesn't feel the need to say it so loudly.


  • My guys went through that stage, and now that they are teenagers it seems my most frequent request is to get them to repeat something that they mumbled so low I couldn't hear them.

    To Love, Honor and Dismay

    By Blogger Andrew, at 7:20 PM  

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