You Say It More Emphatically When You Say Nothing at All
For him, it's not so much prayerful as practical. He no more needs to learn English than I need to learn the primitive languages of the South American rainforests. If I wanted to go to a place with 100 percent humidity and 200 degree temperatures, I would go to Kansas City. Oh look, I'm already here.
Likewise, if J.J. wanted to have a conversation, he'd learn English. But he just wants to give orders. So body language works just fine.
When he wants something, he points at it like a bird dog. In babyland, that gives you legal ownership. Point at your brother's French fries and the contract is signed and notarized.
It's mostly food that he points his paw at. This in spite of the fact that he has the exact same dinner on his own plate. I don't know if he's afraid that someone spit on his hamburger or what, but he won't touch it.
Instead, he becomes the hamburglar.
"Hand it over," he tells his brothers by stiff arming them away from their own plates. "We had a deal. You allowed something within my eyesight and I claimed it by pointing at it."
When they hold fast to their food, he climbs on my lap. He needs a hug. And he wants me to tell his brothers that they'll be hearing from his lawyer.
Other body language: when he doesn't get his way--like, say, he is not allowed to eat the cat food, he stomps his feet really fast. If you stomp along with him, he laughs. So I guess this move means, "I demand either a. kibbles & bits or b. a tapdancing partner."
As you can imagine, it's hard to take his demands seriously when he's Tony Danza-ing across the living room.
His new trick is to use his head as a steering wheel when I'm holding him. It works like this: He tilts his head so far in the direction he wants to go, that if I don't move that way, he will fall out of my arms.
I always wind up in the kitchen.
"Do you want graham crackers, yogurt, a bottle, peanut butter & jelly?" I ask.
None of the above. Apparently, he thinks he's at the Sonic drive-thru or something. I'm the car.
But you know what my favorite body language of J.J.'s is? It's when he takes my hand and just starts wandering around the house, the yard, the block.
It means, "I don't know where we're going, mom, but let's go together."