2/12/09

Her mouth runneth over

There was a time when we were thrilled by every ASL sign Zoe used. There was a time when I could count on one hand the number of words Zoe could say. There was a time when I wondered what marvelous things she would say when she spoke full sentences.

I barely remember those times.

This girl now does NOT SHUT UP.

I blame myself, of course. Not only am I a bit of a chatty Cathy (genes!), I also spoke to her constantly as an infant (environment!). I spent those early days at home with her gurgling, squirming body beside me, narrating the minutiae of our lives in imaginary conversations: "What do you think, Zoe? Should I fold laundry first or make some lunch? Lunch, you say? Great! Salad or sandwich? Both? I AGREE."

Now, of course, she narrates every moment for us, her dollies, the ETHER. Mostly I enjoy sitting back and listening to her running commentary. It's often sweet and cute and warms my heart.

She's has gotten herself A TON of words but there is A LOT of repetition, especially in her whine repetoire. Her whines are interchangeable and often come in rapid, unspecific succession. A lot of her favorite whines were supplied by us a year or two ago in true Happiest Toddler on the Block fashion, in an attempt to give her the words to express her frustration rather than just screeching. I would still be a true believer in the HTOTB method if I wasn't so tired of hearing those same words coming back at me so often:

"I'm HUN-GAR-Y" (to which CG and I always reply "I'm Austria!" "I'm Germany!")
"I'm tiiiired"
"It's hard to WAIT"
"I don't LIKE that, Mommy"

Mix and match and REPEAT at will.

On the flip side, she's also got a strange sunny optimism that we know came from us responding to her positively when she's on the fence about getting upset, though her application of it is a bit... extreme? off? In response to spilling her milk while clowning around: "That's okay Mommy! We can just clean it up." In response to breaking something while not following directions: "It's okay, Mommy! We'll fix it.". These responses often leave us sputtering because well, it often IS possible to clean up or fix something but it is NOT "okay".

Her sunny dismissiveness of our concern is annoying, frustrating and.... totally our fault, I guess. I catch myself now jumping in with a "that's okay!" after she takes a spill or drops something and I try replacing it with something non-committal like "oh!" or "are you okay?".

Because seriously, if everything I say is going to come back to me tenfold, I really gotta start working on "how may I help you?" or "may I please go silently play by myself" or something.

4 comments:

Hillary said...

That's the thing my grandfather has said to me most since The Boy was born: You can't wait for them to talk and then you can't wait for them to shut up. At least you're not alone ...

My Buddy Mimi said...

I'm totally stealing the "I'm Austria" bit. I can't wait for Mimi to whine about being hung-a-ry next.

desperate housewife said...

Omg, Addy totally does that "It's okay! It's fine!" thing, too! And I AGREE: at first I was so PROUD of us that we had taught her to stop herself from having a meltdown about every little thing, but now she's all dismissive and cheerful about things like dumping an entire one pound bag of expensive yogurt covered raisins all over the car, for example. It's such a fine line, trying to help her not get completely overwraught about things but at the same time still realize that some stuff DOES matter just a bit!

Astarte said...

Josie used to talk so much that my jaw would ache at the end of the day from answering all her questions and being captive default conversee. Ugh. She has only recently stopped talking all the time. She's nine. you have a long, chatty road ahead of you!

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