Monday, November 15, 2010


Joe is one of those kids that you hear about - apparently too busy learning motor skills (read: learning to scale baby gates and turning his wagon into an all-terrain-vehicle) to bother with learning to talk. At eighteen months, he only says a few words. However, it would be wrong to say that Joe was not a talkative and expressive child - he makes his needs known very clearly through a rich and varied vocabulary of whining, screeching, and screaming sounds.Who needs symbolic speech?

But there is one word that Joe knows very well and says crystal-clear, all the flippin' time, and that's "Dad."

Sometimes it is "Dada," and sometimes it is "Daddy." Most often, it's just "Dad." Usually bellowed at the top of his lungs, whenever something interesting happens and Dad's not around.

Steve has to shut the door upstairs and turn up the white noise to take a nap, because in his absence, the screaming of his name is pretty much nonstop. When Steve leaves the house, I spend a lot of time saying, "Dad's not here right now, Joe. He's buying us groceries/buying the dogs kibble/getting the car's oil changed/whatever."

To which Joe responds in disbelief, even louder than before, "DAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDA????!!!!" The volume is such that I am pretty sure that Steve can hear the call even from the Jiffy Lube.

Joe does not say "Mama," ever, instead relying solely on various whining and crying sounds to indicate that he would like me to pick him up, give him milk, or please, for heaven's sake, locate his father so that he can have some fun.

If Joe could say more than three words, he would probably say, "Mama? Pul-eeze. Yawn." Then, "Hold on, check out that TRUCK! Awesome! Wait, where's Dad? DAAADDDDD! It's a TRUCK!"

Needless to say, I think both Steve and I have mixed feelings about the new Dad-obsession. It's gratifying to be the current center of your child's universe, definitely, but it's also tiring, and it makes it really hard to take a nap! (Ask me how I know this.)

Similarly, I spend a lot of time muttering, "What am I? Chopped liver?" and pleading, "Say MAMA, Joe. Watch my lips, Joe! MA-MA" (to no avail). But I have had some amazing naps.

Just a little family resemblance going on here.


  1. hee, i can hear the "Da!" soundtrack in the background as I read this :)

  2. Oh, what a wonderful photo. Love it.

  3. This sounds very much like my son, Jacob. At 27 months, he's actually started talking. And just a month ago he finally added 'mama' to his repertoire. But it was a LONG time coming, and he's still well behind many of his peers in the language department. But those same peers can't scale baby gates, and his 5 1/2 year old sister has learned her computer skills from him, so he has his strengths.

  4. It's a relief to hear that, Amber, as Joe fully "failed" the communication portion of his 18 month developmental assessment! Oy! But he excels at stacking cups, legos, unloading the dishwasher (and putting all the dishes in the right place, even), etc., so I know he's a bright kid.


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