Saturday, January 10, 2009

I want Calvin to teach me to talk

I disagree with parents who say that you shouldn't talk baby talk with your baby. You know the type. They brag about how they always talked to their babies as if they were adults and by the time they were two they were reading aloud from Proust.

Pish posh, I say. Language is made up of little sounds put together and baby talk is a baby's way of experimenting and practicing making those sounds. I can talk to my baby like he's an adult all day, but the first time I got a reaction was when I started making fart noises while changing his diaper. He likes fart noises, and bee noises, and barks and whistles. He likes kazoo sounds and drum sounds.

And the noises that he makes to express joy make me wish that I was a baby with a chance to start all over with language. When he's pleasantly occupied, with a toy or an electrical chord, he makes a buzzing noise with his tongue. When he see's something that he thinks is neat, like a ceiling fan or an altar full of candles he says ha-Tah! and when he sees something that he's really impressed by, say, a Christmas tree or a carnival ride he lets out the heartiest Dang! I've ever heard.

I appreciate his sounds, and there are new ones every day. When he hears us copy him, even if he's doing something babyish, he feels good about his sounds and we let him know that we're listening.

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