I can be finicky when it comes to language.  When I text anyone, I cringe at myself if I opt to use some of the abbreviations so popular in texting, and find myself deleting the abbreviations and painstakingly tapping out each word one letter at a time.  I’m funny like that.  Peg from Square Peg in a Round Hole mentioned her pet peeve of the misuse of language and words, which describes me perfectly as well.

When Princess Nagger was born, we had either heard or read somewhere that it’s not actually a good idea to talk ‘baby talk’ to your baby.  At first I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant – how often does one find oneself going “Goo Goo Gah Gah” to an infant?

Before she learned to talk, I had a habit of having conversations with her – I would, of course, get funny looks from people if they caught me doing it, because I’d be speaking to her like she actually understood each and every word I spoke.  And none of it happened to be ‘baby talk’.   For instance, she’d be happily cooing in her swing minding her own baby business while I was folding laundry, and I’d be describing everything I was doing, right down to the article of clothing I was folding to why I was folding it a specific way.

Babies can sure communicate their thoughts and emotions not only by different cries, but also with simple facial expressions like Princess Nagger did at 8 weeks:

You can tell the gears were turning, even back then.

Both my hubby and I tend to utilize big words in pretty much every conversation we have – mostly from habit, but partly from wanting to challenge the Princess Nagger to learn and understand an expanded vocabulary.  It apparently worked, as she can certainly hold her own in a conversation with any adult, which at times will be a great source of entertainment.   She loves to learn new words and try to see how often she can work them into random sentences.  Makes a mama proud.

Of course during her toddler-speak stage, I didn’t have the heart to correct her words or vocabulary, because it was just too darn cute having her call a bathing suit a ‘baby snoot’.  I think my jaw probably hit the floor when she announced at the age of 5 that she was going to be a Paleontologist when she grows up.  She still amazes me with the level of words and vocabulary she uses on a day-to-day basis.

Just before the Little Dude arrived on the scene, we were warned that we might be in for a challenge and he may need to have speech therapy, since there are some issues with his communication.   I’m not going to lie and say it hasn’t been a challenge, after all we weren’t privy to how he was being taught during his learning to talk stage.   But I can say that I’ve already seen improvement in his speech and communication after only having been here just shy of two weeks. 

I give a lot of that credit to Princess Nagger, since he looks up to her and wants to imitate her every move, including mimicking her speech.  Should be interesting to see if he also adopts the accents she uses when she’s pretending to be someone else – English, Scottish, Australian…sometimes a mix of all three.   Yes, she’s a dork, and the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.

This Spin Cycle was brought to you in part by Jen, who could easily finish my sentences with flair, and who is Sprite’s Keeper. Check out the other Spinners – see all the language barriers removed.  Or at least expounded upon.  You’ll be glad you did.

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  1. I love using different accents when I talk about certain things – and Lulu has taken to that quite a bit more now. Even at 2 years old, she surprises me with how many words she really knows and understands!


  2. My husband use to read Newsweek to our boys when they were infants. He had three reasons; 1. it wasn’t baby talk. 2. reading to your kids is important and 3. he liked to read Newsweek but it was his turn on baby duty so he just combined the two.

  3. I so agree with the not talking baby talk to kids. We started talking and reading to ours in utero and they all turned out fine! They have always (in my humble opinion) been far above their peers in reading and language skills.

    Thanks for the shout out! I really enjoyed your post.

  4. I got looks too for having conversations with Sprite in the grocery store or wherever I was. I tend not to mince words when it comes to her and I notice that she will repeat a word she doesn’t understand back to me to get her palatte accustomed to it and ask what it means. Then she’ll usually use it. As far as reading goes, she’s right on level with the other kids in the class. I can tell she wants to read, she loves to figure out the spelling of words, but she’s frustrated.
    You’re linked!

  5. I never did the “baby talk” thing with my kids, either. And, like PN, they had extraordinary vocabularies at a very young age. Once, when Oldest Son and Darling Daughter were still small, my brother and his girlfriend took them on an outing; when they returned the girlfriend told me, “You don’t have kids – you have very small adults.”

    I STILL take pride in that.

  6. What a great Post, and I love how you detailed it. I don’t mind people having pet names or a certain way to say a name because the baby couldn’t say it right. My own daughter couldn’t say grandpa & called him Bubba, but it didn’t last long. Sometimes it does. My MIL was called GaGa until the day she past, but those kids that called her GaGa are now both college graduates, and so it’s not in the language, but what’s in your their heart that makes a person. Don’t get me wrong I don’t care for baby talk at all. I think it keeps back the child back intelligently, and it’s the STUPIDEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD! GIVE ME A BREAK! Duz the little poochie woochie want some num num? GAG!!!!

  7. No baby talk here for fear I’d forget how to talk to other adults! Love that you kept a running dialogue of your day as well!

  8. Baby talk, or even toddler talk as well. I would much rather talk to children as adults. My wife sometimes gives me a strange look if I use a big word, but I know that they understand the meaning based upon the context. And if they don’t understand, then they usually look at me funny and I then choose a better word, or explain what it means.

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