Friday, May 04, 2007

How to Talk Like a Rockstar

Well, J.J. is finally off the bottle...and on the sippy cup. Which he calls a bottle. Or a ba, actually. He is still not a big talker. This worries me only because I've heard that late talkers make up for lost time.

And we already have one world champion talker in our house: Richie. He talked for five and a half hours straight last night. When he can't think of something to say, he yells out the name of something new in our house.

"Water bottles! Yeah, baby."

"New toilet seat. Boo-ya!"

I don't know where he picks up these catch phrases, but he uses them like salt. Just sort of sprinkles them randomly all over the conversation.

"Spiderman's a bad guy?" he asks, "What's the big idea about that?"

But his favorite conversation topic is age. On May 24, he turns 4 and 11/12. It's a big birthday for him. Bigger even than 4 and 5/6, which he celebrated on April 24.

He is sure that if he has enough birthdays, he'll catch up to Johnny someday.

"When I'm 16, will I be older than Johnny?" he asks.

My mom told him that on his next birthday, he'll be older than his granddaddy, who is turning 4. Hearing that, Richie looked like the cat who ate the canary.

Then he said, "Yeah, baby. Older than (singing James Brown-style) Granddad."
With the warm weather, you start to see your neighbors again.

The little girl a few houses down is Johnny's age. She has a little sister, and they were outside with their daddy while he mowed the lawn. We were outside watering the flowers before bedtime. The big sister walked over, gently nudging her sister forward, whispering, "Go. Go."

When they got here, the big sister rolled her eyes slightly and said, "My sister wanted to come see you."

Seeing the girls on the front stoop, Johnny came out carrying his chess trophy and medal. He stood there like a speaker who had just announced, "Okay, I can take questions now."

Do you play chess? the neighbors asked.

Yes, he said.

Then he hung his medals on the mailbox and placed his trophy between them--like a makeshift display case. Looks like somebody wants to put his best foot forward with these neighbor girls.
You know, I really do hope J.J. learns how to talk some day. But for now, I enjoy translating for him.

Yesterday, he took my by the hand and pointed to his empty cup of juice.

"You want more juice?" I asked.

Then I tried to get him to do the sign language for it. You know, instead of grunting like a caveman baby.

"More," I said, bringing my fingertips together.

He repeated the sign.

Then I put my hand next to my mouth. "Drink," I said.

That was just too much for him.

He looked at me like, "Are you deaf or why are we doing this?"

Other times, I have no idea what he's telling me. The other day, he brought me into the kitchen, where I saw that he'd opened the refrigerator, thrown a bunch of tortillas on the floor and now was pointing at the soy sauce and looking at me quizzically.

He appeared to be asking, "Did you know we had soy sauce?"

But that couldn't be right.

We had a breakthrough the other day when J.J. started saying two sylable words. Do Do was the first (for donuts, not the extinct bird.) Next was doctor.

Hearing the song, "Ten Little Monkeys Jumpin' on the Bed," he thought the funniest part was when I said, "Mama called the doctor..."

He repeated it like a rock singer announcing a guitar player whose nickname is doctor.

"Doctah!" he growled/sang.

Now he growls it all the time.

His uncle Luke, the doctor, would be proud.

It appears that when J.J. does start talking, he will have the voice of a hard-rocking, hard-living musician.

All I can say to that is, "Yeah, baby!"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great one, I had to read it twice - it made me laugh outloud several times. I love the salt analogy, and johnny and his trophies to impress the neighbor, and her pushing her sister and saying she wanted to come. So funny - I can just see it. And Richie's little quips. And sweet JJ with the refrig open. What a darling fam.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could just see John with his trophy and adorable smile...he will break hearts!!!
love it!

8:02 AM  

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