A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: first words

Rebel Yell

Many swimming things in my mind the past couple weeks…some with the potential to be incredible…some notsomuch, but all have delayed my writing. I ran through my comfortable reserve with no motivation to cobble together the post that has consumed real estate in my gray matter for a month. Finally, here I am, and I hope it is worth the exceedlying long wait.

I posted Warrior Queen’s love of my singing shortly after her birth, something quite shocking to me…my voice is terrible, and generally I’ve never particularly had much yearning to break into song.

Image result for sound of music

(Nope.)

But, music is good for kids, so I buried my dignity in the backyard and danced on a field in the mountains with the rest of the crazies who get this shit. So imbedded in my routine throughout the last two years that I incorporate music instinctually all the time. It’s actually quite ridiculous. I find myself singing to myself whenever the kids are around regardless if I believe they are listening…Aren’t they ALWAYS listening?

Image result for hiding children

(Friendship Circle understands the cloak and dagger innate in small children…especially when it’s most inconvenient.)

I make-up random songs for random reasons. Sometimes it’s to announce a transition of little importance. Sometimes to urge Little Man to progress anywhere faster than a glacial meander…or move at all. Shockingly it works a good chunk of the time, and I have absolutely no idea why. Sometimes I’m simply excited…like the arrival of nap time…three-years-old Mr. Man continues to nap two hours in the afternoon. At times my son will ask me to repeat one of my spontaneous little ditties, and I usually can’t remember the lyrics for the life of me. Some occasions my inability to recreate vocal magic prompts a tantrum, but they are typically reserved for when I have a headache or desperately need to use the facilities. All in all, I’m surprised that my singing skill has improved, which is helpful for our broken glass budget allotment.

Image result for shattered wine glass

(Opera singers…and Pinterest…have nothin’ on me. We started using plastic dishware long ago.)

Warrior Queen benefitted from my singing practices while residing comfortably in my uterus for thirty-seven-and-a-half weeks. Often I would feel her flip or move a certain way while I sang…or read. She was quite active throughout the pregnancy, but there was something unique to her movement during Little Man singalongs or story time. She always knew, and I always loved it. It’s one of the few positive memories from her wretched pregnancy. Consequent to the frequent occurrences of my singing, she’s primed to enjoy my melodious song renditions now that she exists in the outside world…lucky girl.

Her first word in the ten-months neighborhood was, “MMM…Meh…Mmmm…Meh.” It’s her version of Mommy, and I’m not kidding when I say it counts as a word. Warrior Queen utilized this specific speech pattern whenever she needed me. Now that she is mobile, she wails it throughout a pained crawl just to ensure I understand the depth of her displeasure, willing me to prepare and act accordingly. At this early stage it’s about the association. If she said /b/ while pointing to her bottle, that would be another word.

A few weeks ago, however, I witnessed her first and only sign. Little Man had a speech delay, so I’ve never experienced this phase, and let me say, it’s lovely. Having birthed two children, it seems a child rearing standard in our household that all the monumentally wonderful things first happen on the changing table…intelligent design perhaps? Warrior Queen at eleven-months is generally opposed to diaper changes, and forcefully asserts the degree to which she would rather not experience the situation. She doesn’t quite respond to playing with toys during the process like her brother two years ago. But, one morning she was decidedly unhappy with my diaper change pursuit, complaining quite vocally and squirming to grab the plastic bag we use to collect non poop wiping articles. I often sing to my children on the changing table. But, for whatever reason when I began singing my somewhat unique version of “Wheels on the Bus,” Warrior Queen snapped her head to look me in the eyes, absolutely delighted. I ran through the first verse to which she enthusiastically signedmore.” She is little, so it looks more like applauding than anything else, but it is marvelous nonetheless.

Since that first instance, Warrior Queen continues to urge my continuation of music, but she’s discovered that she will be awarded other pleasant things at her request…like ice cream. My favorite moment of late was during my own relatively rare ice cream indulgence. My husband holding our fierce sprite of a girl, but she was facing me staring down my mug of ice cream with a slightly protruding tongue movement that is akin to slow motion lip smacking. I suppose it is never too early to salivate for something as grand as ice cream, and my daughter is certainly a budding foodie like her big brother…and mommy. After a few of my spoon to mouth taunts, Warrior Queen signed “more;” naturally I obliged.

An interesting result I wasn’t expecting as I dusted off my baby signing form of communication; Little Man began doing the same. It isn’t the complete breadth of vocabulary he used before the floodgate of chatter emerged a little under a year ago, but he periodically throws random correct context signs I haven’t introduced to his baby sister quite yet. At times it’s like he forgets he knows how to speak…or his hands move magically without his conscious thought. Sometimes his sparsely signed words are in response to conversation in the background while he sings something unrelated.

Little Man may very well have a gift for music…possibly perfect pitch. He certainly didn’t receive such a skill from me. Warrior Queen is beginning to communicate beyond her wails of displeasure and giddy chuckles. Even if the rest of the world doesn’t see it as such, I wonder what gifts she will bring.

Socrates, Shakespeare, Ellison, García Márquez, and a Toddler

My a-little-over-two-year-old son is finally speaking.  Expectedly, some of his language is clear to anyone, and some of it only becomes clear to me after several renditions of the speech pattern and a lucky guess.  Receptive comprehension was never an issue, but my husband and I took full advantage of his inability to repeat our commentary, which I know is problematic moving forward, yet I continue to offer my invaluable insight on social happenings, politics, or random life observations peppered with a host of colorful and creative terminology to anyone who will listen.  Maybe it’s the hormones; maybe it’s the sleep deprivation, but I’m not all that motivated to censor myself.

Sometimes when an adult asks Little Man a question he will provide a quick, “Yes,” and sometimes he means what he uttered.  And, there are those times when the gravity of his agreement supersedes a simple affirmative acknowledgment.  When asked if he enjoyed his time at a park, for instance, he provides a low key and dragged out, “Oh,” accompanied by a concerned and serious facial expression appropriate for the conversational setting.  It’s adorable.  But, neither my husband nor I knew how he came to develop such a sweet and funny articulation…until last weekend.  I do that, but decidedly less cute and endearing.  So, I’ll remember this example when my luck finally expires, and my son joins the masses of toddlers expressing their unique identities…by expressing a parent’s.

The “F” Word?

My son clearly understands everything we say, and is waiting for his first word just to mess with us.  Soon he will be eighteen-months, and is a pro at jargon and general babble, but not one solid first word yet.  The last couple of days I’ve seen him with great determination push out the “F” sound.  At random intervals he will look at me with a powerful force of, “Fff…Fff…”  My usual protocol is to repeat his sound back to him, as well as any random word beginning with the letter “F,” although I find it somewhat unlikely his iteration will turn into, “Finally,” “Freelance,” “Formality,” “Fiction,” or “Flatulence,”…just sayin’…  Although an utterance of, “Flatulence,” might prove useful…

Most recently I’ve wondered if he is trying to say, “Food,” which would make me the proudest Mommy on the planet…because what more important word could there possibly be for a Jewish mother?  His capability to pronounce, “Food,” would be the basis for all future tedious ordering at restaurants and general complaining.  I can see it now, all the other Mommies in the Tribe will look enviously as my little man points with derision speaking, “Food,” to anyone who will listen.  It won’t matter that the object he is pointing at is a light fixture.

Tonight, however, he added a new sound to his repetitions of, “Fff.”  No longer is it a lingering unvoiced consonant.  Now, it is a consonant closing with an “uh.”  As I’m holding him he is looking adoringly at me and saying, “Fuh.”  Oh. My. God.  I swear I’ve been much better about my habitual trucker mouth…even in the car…in rush hour traffic…I promise…  In a mild panic I’m considering every possible word with that pattern, but if my son’s first word is, “Fuck,” I think it’s safe to say I’ve managed one of the all time great parenting fails…

%d bloggers like this: