Friday, March 30, 2012

Spread the Word

It’s no wonder Em isn’t sleeping so well these days. First of all, her teeth seem to have conspired against her, deciding to push through her gum line all at once. Poor thing. She looks like a little rabid lap dog (especially when I put barrettes in her hair), practically foaming at the mouth and constantly gnawing on something hard or chewy and plastic-y.  
Second of all? Em’s going through a major verbal explosion. Her brain is reeling. New words are popping out of her mouth, left and right, right and left (accompanied by teething drool). It’s mind blowing, honestly. This morning, as we made our way down the driveway, she said “goodbye flower” to the flowers blooming on our front yard tree. It was absolute poetry to my ears.
She’s had other gems. When I heard her say the word “heart” for the first time (she LOVES her toy stethoscope, and tries “listening” to her parents heartbeats at least twice a day), I nearly burst into tears.
And last night Em asked me to read her one of her favorite books, Ten Little Ladybugs. Only she wanted to stay on the first page so she could count to ten, over and over and over again.
Her counting sounds a little like this: “wuuuuuhhh, twooooooo, fraaaaay, faaaaaaah, flaaaaaaah (five is not so great), feeeeeeeeeh (six isn’t so hot either), enefelahhhhhh (seven is a TOTAL FAIL), eighhhhhhhh (she reels it back in with “eight”), nayyyyyyyyyyyy (way to go, Em!)…. and then she refuses to say ten. She pauses, and waits for me to say “TENNNNNN!” with over-the-top excitement, as if there is NO NUMBER higher or better than ten.
Em’s enthusiasm for words is contagious. Each time she says a new word, it’s like a little miracle. I love not knowing which word she is going to choose to say next, and the randomness of the words she chooses, like “sweatshirt” and “chicken” and “outside” and “off”. Each time she says a word for the first time, I feel like a whole new world has opened up to us, like “oh, now she can tell us when she wants to go outside," (which is always) or “now she can tell us when she is too hot and wants to take her sweater off" or "now we will know when she wants us all to dance like crazy chickens." Every word becomes a tool that Em can use to more easily communicate her needs and frustrations to us, which makes parenting a lot less of a guessing game. Yayyyyyyy.
Of course, this also means that C and I are going to have to be more conscious of the language WE USE, because our little 18 month old sponge will be picking up on EVERY WORD WE SAY. No more careless cursing in our household (not that we do much of it anyway, but I’d kinda hate for Em’s thirty seventh word to be a**hole). Soon enough, like millions of other mamas and dadas, we are going to have to begin to spell out certain taboo words to each other, like c-o-o-k-i-e and b-a-b-y-s-i-t-t-e-r. Who knows, we may even have to develop a secret code language, or hand signals (which could be kind of fun, actually).
The best part of this whole word boom? The thing I look forward to the most? I am hopeful that one day, maybe pretty soon, I am going to be able to say “I love you, Emmy,” and she is going to be able to understand those words, and say “I love you, mama” right back.
Do you have any stories about your kid(s) and their words? Please share - I'd love to hear from you!


  1. I love the fact that Alanna is free with the "I Love You"s. It's like music to my ears. With Em moving up to the next room, don't be surprise that the word explosion continues on a rapid pace. She will be learning lots from her new friends.

    1. Awww, that's so wonderful that Alanna is generous with her "I love you"s. I hope Em will be, too.

      Based on your comments, I guess if Em DOES start swearing like a sailor, I can always blame it on her classmates, or better yet, her classmates' parents. :)

    2. I loved hearing her words this weekend. It was basically like sugar for my ears.

    3. Awww.. Em looked like she was having a blast playing with you! You are such a good friend, not just to me but to my daughter (which makes me feel even more blessed to have you in our lives).