Thursday, February 07, 2008

In your own language, please

I used to joke that I talk to children and animals the same way I talk to adults, but apparently I really do. I find myself having conversations in which I appeal to Jacob's logic "now, if you flip out when trying to latch on, you won't get any milk" or his compassion "Mommy really needs to sleep now so she can have energy to take care of you, so how about going to sleep soon?" or his good judgement "We've discussed the effects of this behavior before, baby." The ever-powerful "books" on parenting instruct me that I should narrate my day, preferably in a high pitched voice, use short sentences and small words, and refer to myself and Jacob in the third person. Narrating my day sounds hilarious, particularly when I have to do it as myself, not as some uber-effective earth mother.

Typical narration sessions sound like this: "so, let's get dressed, shall we? I think this long-sleeved white onesie looks like the baby equivalent of a wife-beater tank top, don't you? So very stripped down and rural chic. And these pants are green, like Mommy's shirt and this blanket and your socks, because green is the color of peace and serenity. Don't you feel serene? And now let's wash your face, to remove the milk residue and the results of your odd eye infection and keep your face in pristine condition so you can impress all the little old ladies who stop us all day long. Isn't it odd how many women over 50 appear out of the woodwork when we go out? I'm sure there's a paper topic in that sociological anomaly somewhere, don't you think?"

Yeah, quintessential baby talk it's not! And I can only keep up this narration for so long before I start to feel totally inane and insane.

Here is Jacob's Mr. Magoo face, one of my faves.

Study in stripes and mohawk in full effect.

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