Sunday, April 14, 2002

Husband was talking recently talking about the unnatural amount of naming that goes on in this household (click here and scroll down to "Parenting 101"). As I'm writing, Chewy Fly is grinning up at me with a wide, mocking smile on his chewy little face.

I was thinking about this as I was playing with Cally this morning, and I think I called her about eight different names, including Shmoopy Poodle.

Now, the parenting books assure me this is okay. And so is the annoying high-pitched baby-talk voice I inadvertantly default to around the baby. In fact, this is actually supposed to promote her language development. Breaking down words into fun, manageable sounds. I may look and sound like an idiot, but it's good for her. Cripes, the things we do for our kids. Next time you see some poor woman in the supermarket babbling on to her infant about what pretty colors are on the macaroni box, just take a moment to recognize the sacrifice she's making. This woman once cared enough about her personal appearance to attract a mate.

A few years ago, just as Kaitlyn's language skills were emerging and I was rediscovering my ability to use a normal tone of voice again, certain psychologists were suggesting that you shouldn't use baby talk at all. Maybe this actually hindered language development and prevented babies from hearing normal speech.

I'm glad that theory has been pretty much dismissed. I wonder if we have a few years' worth of kids who were brought up that way, two-year-olds who sit in their high-chairs banging spoons on trays and shouting, "My GOD, woman! Is dinner not ready YET? Is it too much to ask that I be fed when I'm hungry? And please, for the love of Pete, tell me that we're not having peas again. If I can't have diversity in my diet, I'm going to have to speak with the pediatrician next month about beginning a nutritional supplement."

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