Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Baby Talk Woes

Can someone please explain to me this developmental phenomenon known as “baby talk?”

My seven year old daughter, since school let out at the beginning of summer, has been solely speaking in baby talk. To say that it is driving me mad is a gross understatement. It grates on my nerves like nothing else on this Earth. It is like creepy Goth-boy nails on the largest chalkboard ever created.

I survived my children’s infanthood once. I changed poopy blow-outs. I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed for bleary-eyed midnight feedings. I sucked the lint off pacifiers that had fallen on the floor so I could speedily reinsert them into the mouths of screaming babes. My intestinal tract is probably still coated with toe jam and dog hair to this day. I spent at least four full years—one thousand four hundred and sixty days—of the last decade reeking of puke. In other words…

Been there, done that.

I’m a graduate. A survivor! A war hero, even. Decorated war heroes should not have to listen to baby talk. I mean, Colin Powell wouldn’t put up with that shit. Right?

I typically tell my daughter that I don’t speak baby. I don’t understand baby talk. I tell her that I do not want a baby—that I like having a big girl. Often, I simply don’t respond to her when she speaks in baby talk. Let me tell you…totally ignoring your own children for their own good and not because you are just a lazy, sucky mom is freaking liberating! Sophie, however, is unimpressed by mommy’s liberation. And undeterred.

Lately, she has even begun yelling at me in baby talk.

“No, mommy! Me no want to!”

Yelling at momma is crossing a line in my book. I will not have my children yelling at me in front of other people. Or when no one is around, for that matter. I am raising my children to be polite and respectful. Yelling at momma does not really fall into either of those categories.

Being an enlightened 21st century parent, I don’t believe in spanking my children, but it is taking every bit of self-control I can muster not to smack my daughter in the mouth when she yells at me. But, alas, I do not hit. Of course, if I needed to bitch slap Sophie out of the way of, say, a charging tiger—you know, to save her life—I would do it in a skinny minute. However, barring any stampeding wild animals, I do not get to believe in striking my children.

Therefore, I am left with my rather inadequate powers of verbal persuasion to get my daughter to talk like a big girl. And I am failing miserably.

Any suggestions?


Madgew said...

Marley will do that from time to time and she is 6 1/2 and her parents stop her and tell here unless she talks regular they will not respond. It works for them every time as she would rather be listened to than ignore. :) Keep up the tough big girl talk.

Jessica said...

I swear it has something to do with girls. Audrey still tries from time to time and yes, it drives me up a WALL! Loved your description of that. But yes, as soon as she utters one sentence, we go through the same thing, "Are you a baby? Than please don't talk like one." "I don't speak baby." "You know better." The thing is, we didn't ever speak baby talk, EVER, so where does it come from? Must be external influences. But yeah, the yelling, privileges would be removed pronto--that is crossing the line on two levels and needs to be addressed with consequences. I don't know what would get to her, but you'll know. Take away a favorite toy, eliminate screen time (that's a great one in my house), cancel a fun plan because of her actions, maybe forbid her from doing chores, ha ha. Seriously though, find the thing that will make her think about that action and cut it out.

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