She can’t undo the seat buckle which she loves to play with. She is a big girl now and wants to buckle in herself, even though she can’t.
She can’t get into the kitchen because the baby gate is up. She likes to go in there because that is where all the cool toys are, like sharp knives and bleech.
She can’t go up past the 3rd stair because her mother gets nervous. Look Mom, she thinks, I can climb these stairs all the live long day. But you won’t let me.
She can’t open the closed door. This is very frustrating to her right now because she gets how it works, but she just can’t make her arm twist that way just yet.
My daughter has a very limited vocabulary. Her current words include Go, Ow, Da, Ma, Ok, Um, Hi and Bye. And now the word Shit. Her first word over 2 letters long and it is a swear word.
Once again I win the award for worst father of the year. I know that it is my potty mouth that has brought this on. I know that I have probably used that word, in almost the same circumstances, about a million times in front of her. I know that it must be me because I have had two different family members tell me to “watch the cussing” when I have been around other small children.
Sure I thought, no problem. I do cuss to much. I am used to sitting around with my wife and friends where the cuss factor is high. The basic price for admission is being able to say at least 2 cuss words back to back without giggiling. But now there are kids around so the language has to be cleaned up.
I thought that there was no way that my daughter would say one of these words because at present, she can’t even say Dog. Hell, more than 90% of the time I ask her to say Daddy, it comes out “Go” . That’s what she calls me. I have no idea why, but that is what my name is. “Hi baby” I say. “Hi Go” she replies.
“No honey, it’s daddy. Say Daddy” I say for what has got to be the 3000th time while I point to my self.
“Go” she again replies.
“Shit” I say and then get back to breakfast.
The creepy thing is, and what makes me feel like a truly bad parent, is that she uses “Shit” in context. She knows that it is a word that you say when you are unhappy or frustrated. This is the change over. Now we are past just random repeats of words, we are using them like we are meant to. For the longest time she would go around the house and say “Mamamamamama” over and over again. Every thing and every one was Mama. She sang it like a little personal theme song to her daily life. But we took this as a good sign that she is beginning to speak.
You see, I have had to stop reading the developmental books. These books contain lists of when your child is supposed to reach certain milestones. They are supposed to stand at this age, they are supposed to walk at this age. They are supposed to have this many words in their vocabulary. Seriously, that can drive you insane as a parent.
Every time my daughter would do something new, I would run back to my list and check off that milestone. I would say, hmmm, she rolled over at 2 months of age. That was 3 months early, she is obviously very gifted and will be a superb athlete.
The she would not roll the other way like the books said she was supposed to. I would sit by her crib at night with the cold sweats mentally urging her to roll over the other way in her sleep. The books and lists say that we are 1 months behind on this. I am ready to call the doctor and have her tested for bird flu because obviously something is very wrong here.
Did someone give her the evil eye? Has there been a curse laid upon my daughter. Because I swear to god that last month she rolled over on her right side and the book clearly states that by now she should be rolling over on her left side now. Who is laying the bad mojo on my precious Little Hoss?
I ran back to the books and read them again. This time though, I found a passage in the first chapter about how all the guidelines are averages. Averages. Piece of crap. I know what this means. It means that with a huge sample, there could be massive time differences on either side of their supposed “milestones.”
The next day I threw the books out. Obviously Little Hoss cannot be merely restricted to someone elses norms. She was beyond the classifications and “averages” of mere mortals. The biggest lesson I learned—she would do what she wanted when she was damn good and ready.
So we have been winging it for the last year or so. She would do something new, I would clap like a trained monkey hoping to get a repeat of the behaviour, and she would develop into the genius that she is now.
Until I started paying attention to more of the words. It seemed to me that she was just still spouting gibberish. Give her enough time and take just parts of the syllables that she says and hey, she practically writing Shakespear. They were all two letter words and then I noticed that she started to get the hang of it a little bit. She would say Hi when she saw us. She would say Ow when she fell. Ok, things are going good, no need to panic, but let’s try something a little more advanced.
I was putting on her shoe and her little monkey pinky toe was not wanting to cooperate.
“Shit” she said, for the first time.
Um, ok. I didn’t hear that right.
I pushed a little harder and it still wasn’t going.
“Shit” she said again. Ok, that time I heard it.
“No baby” I say “Shoe” as I point at her white sandal.
“Shit Shoe” she says and smiles.
Do I become concerned? My daughter with a mouth like a sailer?
Nope, my baby just said her first sentence. And I do believe that is a good 4 months ahead according to the books.