Tuesday, August 2, 2011


My poor boys. At only 22 months, they have been therapized. You'll have to excuse them. Their mommy is a speech pathologist. Of course I beam with pride when I hear them speak. I have diligently been counting their words, adding up their morphemes, observing their social development and analyzing their speech sounds since day one. They have an amazing vocabulary and are speaking in sentences. However, I have a sinking feeling that all this talking they are doing may not be exactly what I had in mind...
It is really cute that they sing the ABC's, twinkle twinkle, jingle bells and an assortment of other tunes. Of course I have taught them the correlating signs for these songs so my babies look Italian as they sing and move their clumsy little arms and hands while we sing. They know the names of just about every vehicle ever invented, a wide assortment of zoo and farm animal, foods, instruments, colors, letters, numbers, shapes, tools, you name it. They learn language quickly and easily. That's not the problem.
You see, I thought I could reduce those toddler tantrums and melt down behaviors if I could improve their language use. I cleverly thought, why not teach them to say "no thankyou" when they don't want their yogurt or juice cup or whatever it is they decide at the moment they don't want. I have tried to instill the ole, food and juice stay on the tray and we say "no thank you mommy." Here is what I get instead: " NOOOOOO thankyou mommy" as thing one or thing two tosses the sippy cup across the room. Or I get,  "no thank you. no thank you. no thank you. Uh OHHHHH! What hApPENed?" as one of them throws the macaroni on the floor and then as I reach down to pick it up they drop some more right on top of my head and sweetly say " I sowi mommy. I sowi." They have the language. Not sure about the appropriate use.

I also thought,  OK, instead of them whining, screaming and getting so frustrated as independent minded toddlers so often do, I will teach them to say " I need  some help." You can still whine, scream, cry and be frustrated while clearly saying  over and over again, "I need help. I neeeeeeed help. I NEED help. I need some HEEEELP ahhhhhhhh.!"

They are obviously boys, but have also inherited some amazing bodily function skills from their daddy. August is quite the burper and they both are blessed with melodic gas. It didn't amuse me much when daddy did it pre babies, but now I am out numbered. I figured I might as well start teaching them some manners in this area. SO, August burps and I give him the look. He looks back at me sheepishly and says "scuz me mommy. I buuuuup." Hard NOT to crack a smile at that right? Then there is the ever frequent TOOT. Suffice to say, I never imagined I would I really would engage in the "who tooted? Somebody tooted! Did you toot? Are you my little tooter?" conversation. Really? WHO AM I? Anyway, we also practice saying "scuz me. I tooted." Great right? Well, guess what happened the other day? A certain someone who doesn't like to make a big deal about tooting, actually tooted and August looked her straight in the eye, gave her the "look" and said "moooomy? I hear that."  Super.

I used to like Bob the Builder,  but I had to send Bob off on an extended vacation. I might ship him out to Siberia soon. Henry really likes Bob the builder. I hear about it all day long and sometimes in to the night.  " I like Bob builber." Cute isn't it? This can  turn in to "I like Thomas train. I like Mickey Mouse. I like Daisy Duck. I like Mommy. I like Daddy. I like Nana. ect." That is it will turn in to that sweet game when Henry good and well feels like it. Most days though, it's " I like Bob builber. I like Bob Builber. I LIKE Bob Builber. Bob ba builber. Bob Builber. Bob Builber, ahhhhhhhhhhh!" I think he does it on purpose because he knows I am just fishing for him to say I like Mommy.

My guys are VERY social. August knows no stranger. I model saying hello, good morning, thank you and your welcome when ever we are out and about. So, the other day I had to go to Sprint. Miss Carla started helping us out.  She didn't have much opportunity to help others. Luckily she thought the boys were cute ( and they are) and it wasn't very busy. "GoooooMoorning.HI MISS CARLA! MISSSSSS CARLA. Miss Carla WHATCH DOIN? THANK YOU MISS CARLA!" Mommy quietly said , ok. Shhhhh. Miss Carla is working. She is helping other customers now.  Didn't matter. "MISS CAAAAARLA! You working? Thank you Miss Carla. WAIT. WAIT MISS CARLA. HELP cussomers. Come here Miss CARLA!" As Miss Carla attempted to help other customers, Mr. Travis came out to assist me with my phone. "HI MR. TRAVIS! Mommy phone CAPUT."    I had told them we needed to go to Sprint because my phone was caput. I thought it sounded cute when they said it in the car. Maybe it helped that they were so loud and vocal? I did get a new phone that day.

Finally. I do try in all earnest to use positive reinforcement and avoid the no's and don'ts whenever remotely possible, which isn't often quite honestly. But, August loves to take his diaper off and run around naked. I will say to him "Oh Auggie, diaper stays ON." To that I get,  "Mommy, diaper stay ON!" as he rips it off and runs thru the house patting his little booty and squealing "I NAKED! I NAKED MOMMY!" Henry on the other hand loves to climb out of his high chair and bed. I say in my calmest, most soothing mommy voice, Henry, it's bedtime. We STAY in bed. He likes to repeat what I say "Mommy I stay in bed." Seconds later, he stands up, gets the Henry gleam in his eye, hoists his leg up and over the crib rail and tells me "Mommy, STAY in bed." August, ever helpful will scold Henry and exclaim "Lay down Henwi. Stay in bed. Mommy pow pow." Sigh....Affirmatives and positive speech reinforcement? A little pow pow or swat to the booty? What was I thinking? They are 22 months old. No great therapy techniques are going to change that fact.

Ohhh Mommy. You have good intentions.

1 comment:

  1. what I've taken away with me from this post is
    1. your kids are polite yayay you! good job mama :)


    2. Mamafleck is a tooter ... who's a lil tooter? Mamafleck is a tooter pmsl