9 Nov 2010
I have advanced linguistic skills. I can converse with the best of them. I’ve made conversation with the Deputy Prime Minister of Namibia (true), as well as many other people. At the moment though, on any given day, if you listened to me speak, you would think I had some sort of disorder or at least a vocal tic. This is because I spend the best part of 12 hours a day with a small child. So we don’t have lunch we have ‘lunch lunch lunch’, we don’t wear a nappy we wear a ‘nap nap nappy’ and we don’t sleep we have a ‘snoozy snooze snooze snooze’.
I don’t subscribe to the ‘baby talk’ concept. And yet I can be found in the supermarket asking the baby if he thinks ‘daddy would like muesli’. As if the baby cares what his father eats for breakfast!
I have tried, once I caught myself at it, to just talk in a normal way to Benedict. I am however, like the DVD that has a ‘pause’ when changing layers. By 7pm I am not always ‘speaking normally’ and continuing with the story. Sometimes, for a long time after 7pm, I am babbling incomprehensibly because I have been doing that all afternoon.
Do you see they cars? The black ones? The grey ones? Do you see them?
Of course he bloody sees them. He knows what a car is, and a cat and a dog and a bird. Tell me something I don’t know mama, the baby thinks as I go on about them! The experts tell you to tell the child what you are doing – describe your actions they say. This leads me to deliriously tell Robert how I am now putting the pasta into the pot; ‘see how it is boiling’ ‘see the steam’, and now I am going to stir the sauce ‘let’s get a spoon!’ And look! mama is now going to get really demented! She’s about to go outside and water the plant plant plants with a glass of wine, before she really loses her mind completely!