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Friday, 5 May 2017

Learning to talk and beyond: From first words to all the whys

Learning to talk and beyond: First words and probing questions

It is one of the mysteries of parenting that we are so encouraging of the whole learning-to-speak thing.

Yes, life is a little easier when they can articulate their wants and needs. No, it does not make it easier to reason with them; they are small children and therefore entirely unreasonable. Yes, it can make you want to smash your forehead on a wall when they just Will Not Shut Up. No, once they start, they do not stop.

The small one is getting better with his language; I must admit that against my better judgement I did start to worry a little, although even at the time I knew I was being entirely irrational, when he didn't live up to his sister before him. She was generally ahead of of her peers, and particularly boys, because that's how it goes. But I'm glad (?) to report that in the last few months, and more so this last couple of weeks, we have had an explosion of vocabulary, starting with the words;

And now, a mere month later we have instructions and exclamations of several words - even a full sentence, now and again, like 'I don't want to' (in relation to basically everything) and 'Not mummy, I want daddy'. Annoying? Yes, very, but I think he's going to be normal. *Exhale*.

The big one, satisfied that she knows the meanings of most words, is now trying to figure out the meaning of existence. 

This involves asking as many questions as humanly possible from the very moment she wakes up (Mummy is it lunchbox day at school? What sandwiches will I have?) to the moment she goes to bed (Mummy why do I have to brush my teeth? Why is my toothbrush purple?) and all the loooong hours in between.
Sometimes they're fairly easy to answer (Why can I not have some crisps? Answer: Because it's 8.13am and you just had your breakfast), sometimes I have to google them because being a stay at home mum has rotted my brain (What are leaves made of?) or it's not something I've ever thought about (Mummy why is my wee wee yellow? Like a mango?).

Sometimes I know the answers, but I'm not really sure how to answer.

Like what's inside animals and people, and where she came from, and how the doctors got her out of my belly. I'd show her the scar but I'm not sure she'd recover and I'd definitely never have grandchildren. Instead, I got her a book from the library which has a lot of pictures and has sated her curiosity for now.

And then there was this conversation:

Mummy, what's that? (Points to undercarriage of dog).
Me: That's Riker's willy (Note: I get the whole 'call bits by their real anatomical name' thing, I do. But this will do fine for me).
Don't be silly mummy that's not his willy (I don't know why she asks so many questions when she really does know everything).
Me: OK then.
Why don't I have a willy?
Me: Because girls don't have willies. Only boys.
Mummy, what are willies made of? 

Buckle up.

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  1. Love that last conversation, I am so not looking forward to these chats... luckily Miss O is still sticking with 'bye mama' (cheers love), 'no' and 'ning ning' (answers on a postcard)...

  2. Mine are good on the grown up words, mainly because of the teenagers though. I'm forever telling one to get his hands out of his pants. Penis is totally acceptable at toddler group and school, but I think vulva has a way to go yet. Mind you we tend to say fanny here. Bizarrely my kids (bar the youngest) all saw hundreds of birth videos - I'm prone to instant babies and I didn't want anyone to be scared if it just happened one day :D

  3. I've had it all, it gets better believe me (or should that be worse?) My mum always joked about my wanting a willy when I was little, I was convinced you could buy one from Woolworths (remember good old Woolworths, you could anything from there?) Perhaps I thought it was Willyworths?

  4. Haha I've 2 like that at home. A 7 year old that won't shut up asking questions and an 18 month old whos vocabulary is very limited but knows the words: yes no and shite

  5. Great post and can totally relate. T is in full on question mode at the moment, and although it's fun it can get tiring when they're not happy with the answer you give, even though they have no idea what the item is in the first place. Go figure?!


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