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Say What?

I think I’ve been doing a good job lately trying to take each of RR’s skills as they come and not worry about “should she” or “shouldn’t she”.  For the most part we’re good at this – D more so than I.  There are a few sticking points where I find myself thinking “Shouldn’t we have done this by now?” or “Should I worry when she does that?”  Hello, red flag.  It’s true in anything we do, right?  Once should comes into it we’ve set ourselves up for guilt or failure or stress.  I should call my mother.  I should stop letting the dog chase that cat.  I should stop putting possum into the soup.  Because here’s the thing: you either are or are not doing it and if you are, well then you get points for doing what you think is right and if you aren’t, you justify or kick yourself.  Ick.

If I have any resolution at all, it’s that I’m trying to worry less about what I should be doing since most of the time it’s an artificial standard.  For example, D probably doesn’t care if I walk the dog instead of hovering around with her watching the child.  If I’ve asked how she feels once and she says it’s okay then I probably don’t need to keep harassing her.  Is it okay?  Really?  Are you sure?  I just won’t.  It’s okay.  God, I’m so fun.

The point here is that RR uses the same word for bunny, monkey and Maggie (also rabbit, but that’s cause she’s a child genius.  obviously).  All of them sound like a nasally, swallowed “mahn-ye”  She can say other consonants but these words elude her.  I console myself with the fact that when I ask her to say rabbit she points to herself and says mahn-ye.  We call her bunny (and sometimes rabbit).  The fact that she knows she is both bunny and rabbit is sort of awesome and I’d like to preserve the illusion that she knows those are interchangeable words for the same concept.  Let me have my dreams.

Shouldn’t she be getting better at this?  We’ve been carefully enunciating for weeks and trying to get her to say “gie” or “ni”.  It’s not happening.  This form a child who has mastered the words, appropriate timing and hand motions for whoa, oh boy, uh oh and oh no.  The last is particularly adorable since she accompanies it with a perfectly rounded o mouth and hands on both her cheeks.  It totally makes up for the 2:15 wake up call.

Also, I realize that’s my one use of adorable in reference to my daughter for the year.  Worth it.  So what’s up?  At 19 months, is it just kid speak?  Got any cute pronunciations to smooth over the shoulds?  I’ve been consoling myself with a co-workers effalump/elephant.


8 Responses

  1. At 18 months, our pediatrician floated the idea of an autism screening for Henry, since the ONLY thing he could say at that point was “ha chee ta” (meaning, “hot cheese toast,” meaning, “grilled cheese sandwich.”). Not exactly an impressive vocabulary. We didn’t have the screening, and had faith that his spoken words would soon catch up with what we assumed were rapidly spinning gears in his mind. Lo and behold, he was given an “extremely advanced” under “verbal communication skills” at his 2-year-old checkup. (And yes, I detest being the mom who’s THAT psyched about what a checkbox-form assessment says about my child. But I am.)

    • Megan – thank you. I know Henry is a veritable font of words now, so I’m relieved to know that all started with “ha chee ta”. PS – write more.

  2. We got no help for you. You know our amazing Noah isn’t saying anything other than “yeah” and maybe baabee when he’s all sad and thinks he’s being mistreated. I keep hoping that any day now words will just start flowing forth.

    “Supposed to” and “should be/have” are the worst phrases in the English language.

    • Beth – Noah is just cogitating 🙂 We get the mistreated child wail: a big frowny face accompanied by welling eyes and a high pitched screech. Poor, poor things.

  3. n used a lot of words to mean the same things for a long time, and didn’t have a very large or varied vocabulary at that age. She was too focused on other things. She has since had a HUGE language explosion, and we’re missing some of her baby-isms already. 😦

  4. My 88 year old grandmother calls everything ‘pens’.
    “My pens are sore” (wrists)
    “I’d like some pens” (tea)
    “Where have the blue pens gone?” (slippers)

    I know this is unhelpful and irrelevant but it was what I thought of when I read your blog.

  5. Your comment is totally helpful as long as I can begin using that myself. I suspect it will help me be better understood.

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