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Shedding the Baby Talk

I never really talked baby talk to my two kids. Even when they were little babies I avoided the whole “woodgie-woo-woo” talk and instead spoke to them clearly and correctly. I did, however, adopt some speaking habits that I can’t seem to shake even though my kids aren’t little babies anymore.

One of the habits that everyone around me gets a real kick out of is how I narrate everything I do. Before my babies started talking I took care to always narrate what I was doing. “Mommy is going to fold the clothes now. Look at this blue towel! Mommy likes to fold towels better than folding socks.” It was an ongoing narrative of my actions and thoughts, and I was only doing it because that’s what the experts said to do.

Now it’s a few years down the road, and even though my kids don’t really need the whole narrative thing anymore I still find myself doing it. I remember one instance in particular: I was visiting my grandmother and started looking for something in the kitchen, and the whole narrative tendency came right back. “Where is that measuring cup? Mommy needs a measuring cup. Maybe it’s in this drawer over here.” My baby wasn’t even with me, and my grandmother was very amused.

Another tendency I haven’t been able to shed is constantly referring to myself in the third person. “Mommy needs a haircut. Do you think Mommy likes it when you throw her magazines around? Mommy needs you to take a nap.” This is another thing I started doing because I read that it helps little babies develop speech, but my kids are far from needing such pointers and I’m still stuck in the third person.

I guess it could be worse. I seem to be able to excuse myself to the restroom while with other adults instead of announcing that it’s time to go pee-pee. Maybe someday I’ll get all my old speech patterns back.


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