For whatever reason my daughter has been talking in complete sentences since she was about 18 months old. Now please understand that while I am not exaggerating, I also understand this to be an anomaly. My very handsome 15 month-old son can understand more words than he can say. He has at least a dozen words under his belt though and some of his favorites include yes, daddy and juice, but its obvious the boy can’t talk yet.
That’s why it always amazes me that his sister seems to be able to interpret what he says on command. It’s kind of funny because I do recognize they have a very close relationship and you have to at least ask yourself, does she really know what he’s saying. I mean they are good for pushing one another and hugging one another all in one felt swoop. I have never seen anything like it, they will fight over a toy and kiss each other on the cheek before I can correct the behavior.
Since our daughter’s vocabulary is off the charts, it is important to have a list of words she is not allowed to say. Usually, anything negative like ugly or stupid is off limits. She is not allowed to use it at any time with anyone. It still amazes me how often you seem to hear these words in music, on television and in general adult conversation that goes unnoticed until you tell a 3-year-old she can’t use them and she will point it out to you 1,000 times a day. “OOOH, mommy, they said ugly,” she says. In fact, I really think it’s her way of getting away with saying taboo words on a sly.
Most of their fussing takes place when I am in the kitchen washing dinner dishes and preparing for bedtime snacks. No matter how many duplicate toys we have, they still seem to fight over the same ones. I’m almost numb to the bickering unless I hear hardcore screaming or a big thump followed by crying. Usually, if I miss the whole encounter I will ask Morgan what happened. “Mommy, how come you always ask me what happens,” she says. “I ask you what happened because you can verbally tell mommy the story,” I reply.
The other night, right on cue an argument ensued over a toy. All I hear is “No, Baby G, it’s mine, I had it first,” Morgan whines followed by a series of inaudible baby sounds. Keep in mind there is only a 4-pound difference between them, so she can’t beat him physically. I can tell he is upset and I know a physical struggle is underway. I rinse my dish and dry my hands first, because I have yet to hear the emergency. I approach the den and Morgan meets me at the door crying “Mommy, he called me stupid.”
So, this is one of those moments when I seriously want to laugh, but I know she is really distraught and to laugh would be insensitive. “Morgan are you sure he called you that,” I ask. “Yes, mommy, I am sure, he called me stupid, so he needs to go to time out.” I look at Baby G as stern as I can and remind him that “stupid” is not a nice word and we do not say that word and if he says it again he’s going to be in big trouble. My son then looks at me and smiles and for the first time I actually think to myself, even if he couldn’t verbally say it, that joker probably really did THINK it and she knew it. So how am I suppose to reprimand a thought? And how in the world has he figured out how to hurt her feelings with words when he can’t even talk? So sticks and stones may break her bones, but her brother’s mumbles are what really hurt her.