Diapers and Dragons

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stray Thoughts On Kidlets And Words

Today I read a post about the words children use, those adorable attempts that come out just a little off but that nevertheless we, as parents, grow to love. And how all too soon our wee wordcrafters learn the "right" way to say those words and they are gone, even eventually out of our memories.

I wrote two similar posts here and here a long while ago about DramaBoy, a similar celebration of his delightful attempts and a mourning of the passing away of loved words. He's seven months older than when I wrote those posts, and it's amazing on a daily basis to hear his linguistic leaps. He's my talker.

And boy is he. A few days ago we were at VBS and DramaBoy was chattering away, a mile a minute, as usual. A nearby adult looked on in amused amazement, then checked with me on his age.

Three and a half, I said, but he's always been an advanced talker.

I can tell, he said. And your other one? He's so quiet!

He's definitely not as much of a talker. He tends to stick to the short version.

I'm not surprised--he can't really get a word in edgewise, can he? And he's probably content to let Big Brother do the talking, said this adult, obviously wise in the way of siblings.

And that's the way it is. We're working with The Widget, encouraging him to put words together to make sentences. Sunday morning he came to me with socks in his hands and said Hep you? Hep you? He's a little confused about the pronoun thing. And he loves his socks.

Can you say "Help me, please?" I said in response. We know he's not offering to put tiny socks on our toes.

Hep...me...peese? he said, very carefully.

Triumph! Usually he just looks at me like I'm a crazy woman. Come on, he says with his big blue eyes, I know you know what I'm saying! Why work harder and say something longer when my point gets across just fine?

He has a point. The shorthand generally works. But there's this whole communicating with the world at large thing, the preparation for future academic success thing, the we'd-rather-you-verbalized-your-frustration-instead-of-biting-people thing.

DramaBoy, on the other hand, has no problem verbalizing his ideas. Sometimes he breaks my heart with how much he grasps of the world around him. Last week he told me, when I picked them up to be with me for a few days, I want to always be with you, Mommy!

But then Daddy would miss you and you would miss Daddy, I said.

Yes, I would. I would miss Daddy a lot. He fell silent for a moment. I miss you and I miss Daddy. Mommy, I want you and Daddy to be together.

What could I say to that? I know you do, honey. Sometimes it doesn't work out that way, though. Sometimes Mommy and Daddy can't be together. I hope it was enough, for the time being.

Yesterday I gave them Father's Day cards for Daddy and Grandpa to personalize with crayons. The Widget went to town on Daddy's card, creating a lovely scribble hither and yon. DramaBoy began a very careful pattern on Grandpa's, coloring thickly and right up to the edge of each color, but not mixing. (He was, I saw later, actually coloring within the "lines" of the depressions left by the raised images on the reverse of the card. Clever boy.) After each color was laid down, he'd lift it for me to praise. He also kept an eye on What The Widget was doing.

He's doing a good job! he announced. Daddy will really love his picture! And I'm doing a really good job on Grandpa's card. I'm using my imanination! I'm coloring my imanination right now.

I hope this time of sorrow will pass without scarring my boys too much. I hope DramaBoy will keep talking with me about what's going on in his head, and that The Widget will learn to do so as well. And I hope my boys will keep using their imaninations, coloring them bold and bright and beautiful on the pages of their lives.

4 bits of love:

Daddy and Grandpa said...

How wonderful imanination is, but I am not at all surprised to see DramaBoy's imanination displayed knowing the mother! How I miss those two! Please hug them for me.

Kathleen said...

Sooo sweet!!

merideth said...

so touching! it *is* heartbreaking when they understand the less-than-lovely parts of life, isn't it? you're doing the right thing by explaining simply.

i have a suggestion re: the kid-words: make a small tag book with the sayings. i used to write each one down in a little notebook i carry, but of course i sometimes couldn't do it just then and would forget. now, i just shoot them off to facebook so they'll be there when i'm ready to get them down.

mom said...

I treasure these posts. They let us in on precious moments that we're missing, otherwise. I love the Widget and DramaBoy, and my heart hurts for them as they feel more and more of the effects of the separation from either mom or dad, depending. I'm praying. You're their anchor, speaking truth and giving them love.

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