My two year-old daughter is learning to communicate. Don’t worry. I am not one of those obnoxious parents who brags that their child is so far ahead of others her age. I don’t go around claiming that my child is advanced, brilliant, maybe even a little baby genius, as some parents do.
“Little Bart can count to ten in English, Spanish and French.” I’ve heard a mother say. “Now we’re studying Japanese. He’s really advanced for a two-year old.”
“Very impressive,” I say, wishing that I had the balls to respond with an equally ridiculous statement. “Maybe he should apply for a job as a translator at the UN,” followed by a roll of the eyes.
It’s always satisfying when the infant abruptly ends Mommy’s boastful rant by doing something appropriately infantile. Bart, for example, had what I would classify as a nervous breakdown when a fly landed on his stroller. Not a bat or a bee that might sting him, but a fly. The Mommy swatted wildly at the fly as Bart continued to scream. “Shew, shew! It’s okay, Bart. Mommy will chase it away.”
My diagnosis of this behavior would be that Bart will grow up to be a “Class A Sissy-Boy” thanks to his neurotic parents. Then again, maybe bizarre phobias are a common characteristic of genius. I don’t know. I’m no psychologist.
Anyway, back to my daughter. Not only is she talking more and more each week, but she’s recently developed an accent. I’m not sure how to classify this accent, other than to say it sounds a bit “Aspen Uppity.” Suddenly, this week Daddy has become Dad-daay, mommy is now mom-maay, horsey is hor-saay and so on. “I want a cupcake, Dad-daay,” she said yesterday as we strolled through Clarks. How could I resist. I bought her a six-pack with pink frosting.
The every growing list of words and phrases she uses are hilarious, amazing, even touching. “Do you need a diaper change?” I asked her the other night as we readied for bed. “No, I’m perfect.” Another phrase she picked up is “Wait, just one more minute!” She spits this out each day when we announce that it’s nap time. A favorite of mine is her appropriate use of “please” and “thank you,” as in “Dad-daay, buy me this toy, please. Thank you.”
Actually, she said something this week that tops please and thank you, something I will remember forever. The sun had just come up and I could hear that she was awake. When I walked into her room she stood up, gave me a huge hug and said, “You love me, Dad-daay.” I was so choked up, I had trouble responding. “Yes, I do, Sweetie. Yes, I do.”