“Children are like small, brain-damaged adults with no attention spans and little capacity for conversation.”
That’s a quote from Douglas Coupland’s book, “The Gum Thief”. It made me laugh because it’s so true and astute. It’s definitely something I’m keeping in mind as my son gets older and learns to talk more. I’ll be the first to admit that I have no patience for people who lack the ability to make themselves clear. If you can’t tell me what I need to know in ten seconds or less, I’m walking. I think it stems from my experience working in retail. You tend to deal with many “challenging” people. So, deciphering toddler babble is going to be a adventure for me down the road.
I guess when your child comes up to you to tell you something, it’s not a good idea to just smile dumbly and say, “That’s nice. Go play now”. I used to do that a lot with young children. I didn’t have a single clue as to what they were saying. They might as well have been speaking Italian or Esperanto. Eventually, I learned that the trick to comprehension was getting them to slow down and do lots of pointing. “Use your words” is like a mantra.
I can’t wait to have two-sided conversations with my son. Not talking when he’s supposed to is a worry for me sometimes though. It doesn’t help that the literature points out that at 12 months, children can be saying anywhere from 1 word to 40 words. That’s quite a wide range. Not exactly reassuring. Mind you, I’ll probably be kicking myself in 15 years when he’s giving me sass.
That’s nice. Go play now.