The Baby and I are both working on our voices, in different ways. I’ve been learning lately that figuring out how to effectively communicate is just as tough for the parent as it is for the child. I just assumed it would mostly be The Baby figuring out verbal and non-verbal ways to let us know what he wants. As far as being The Voice of Authority, I always thought that I would be a tough-love kind of parent. Firm, yet kind. Don’t give in, and the child will catch on. I never figured in the part where they’d laugh at me.
I’m trying to find The Voice. You know the one… it keeps kids in line, but it’s not so bad that your eye starts twitching when you use it. And it doesn't scare your kids into therapy.
The Baby’s newest game is trying to crawl onto the coffee table. I appreciate the fact that he wants to do this. It’s one of the first things that he can wiggle his way onto at home. Neato for him! But still, it’s the coffee table and it’s not acceptable. Whenever I catch him, I say “You aren’t allowed on the coffee table,” and I gently slide him back onto the floor. I try to be stern with him. He laughs at me. Nice. I am firmly in control.
Anyway, repeat the cycle 20 times. He’s frustrated, I am frustrated. I tried several times to move him away from the table and engage him in another activity. Right back to the table. *sigh* He put his elbows on the table, leaned over, wriggled a knee up, and just when he thought he was in the clear, I belted out, “Get off that table, NOW!”
I’ve never seen a little boy move so fast. He reversed it off the table in one second. He stood there and looked at me – his eyes a pool of sorrow, his bottom lip slowly emerged and began to quiver. And then he cried. Boy, did he cry. I felt like a witch. But he listened, whereas he completely ignored me or didn’t take me seriously before.
There has got to be a happy medium between my toddler laughing at me and me yelling at him. HELP!
The Baby is 14 months old today and, for all practical purposes, he doesn’t talk. He is vocal, for sure. Every morning around 5:45, we hear him loud and clear. He’s like a friggin’ rooster. He also chatters throughout the day. But he doesn’t say many words. He can say “uh-oh” in context and he can say “tickle.” Sometimes it’s in context, mostly not. He does not say “mommy” or “daddy” or “cup” or “cat.” He doesn’t nod or shake his head. I’m a little concerned.
My sister-in-law said that kids often start learning physically or verbally first. They tend to run with one and catch up later with the other. I’m hoping that that’s what is happening here.