I told my wife when we started this whole babymaking thing that I probably wouldn’t be too interested in any child of ours until he/she started talking. I mean, what do babies do, anyway? Stare at stuff, spit up, fall asleep. They can’t even roll over, let alone offer up any meaningful insight on the upcoming election.
Then Bub started talking, and tried with every fiber of his being to debunk my theory. The kid practically wakes up with a fragment in his mouth, so excited to just start TALKING every day that he often skips the ‘Hi, Daddy’ in favor of ‘Light on!’ or similarly crudely constructed command.
He talks during car rides, in the middle of milk bottles. He talks to the TV, he talks to Bankie and golden retrievers and handsomely-formed rocks. He talks to no one in particular, sometimes even answers. We put him down at night, he takes it as a challenge. I think he’s gone up to 45 minutes now, just talking his face off. Suddenly the Peanut, quietly soaking up the world, was looking massively appealing.
So what does he have to talk about, anyway? Good question. He started as our own portable echo machine, which, as a fan of 80s music, you would think that I would think that would be awesome. But you would be wrong. It’s cute the first couple dozen times, but then it just kept going.
“Bub, we’re going to the store.”
“We’re going to get some juice and crackers.”
Then he started participating in A-B conversations.
Me: All we have is leftover tofu scramble surprise at home. Maybe we should go out.
Wife: Okay, how about chop suey?
Bub: (From the back seat) Suey.
And so on. Now he produces his own thoughts, which is cool, except that he’s so proud of himself, he wants to hear it over and over again. Sometimes it’s funny, like when he just started saying “carwashing” over and over. And sometimes THIS HAPPENS.
But it can be alternately touching and frustrating, because he doesn’t have the ability to lie, at least in any kind of convincing fashion. It just hasn’t occurred to him yet, which makes everything he says nakedly honest.
Anyway, after months of publicly ridiculing my talking theory, and me investing heavily in Duct tape, he inadvertently proved me right a couple weeks ago. Bedtime routine, stories, singing, CD on, etc. I put him in his crib, asked him for a kiss, which he supplied. Then he looked up at me in the darkness and said, “One more?” Man, all those words that spill out of his mouth daily, weekly, constantly, and he managed to put the two together to make his old man cry. Thanks, Bub.