Thursday, November 12, 2009


Two stories, about language development.


Last night Pynchon tucked me into bed (as he does) at 10pm. As he left our room, he peered in on Munchkin, pulled her door near-to-closed, and turned off the hallway light (as he does). Munchkin half woke, mad to find herself, I guess, in the dark.

She shouted out once or twice, inarticulate angry and sad noises, intermittently. Then she started crying in earnest. In I went to her room where she gazed at me, tears in her eyes, and wailed. Then she hit me and rolled away. I stood up to leave and she smacked me again, bawling. I asked her over and over what she wanted, but she just cried.

So I went back to our room with Pynchon. We sat on the bed and listened to her cry, not sure what to do. It was like nothing so much as her infancy: inarticulate sobbing and no obvious remedy.

After a few minutes, I went back in to her room. She faced me and said, piteously, "I'm tired, Mom, can you crawl into bed with me for a bed snug." I did, and she calmed down immediately. "No, don't put your arm around me. Just be still and stay beside me." I did. After a while I made to get out of bed. "Mom, not yet, I need one more minute ... okay, you can leave now."

I'll tell you what: a wailing child who can use words is a lot easier to comfort than a wailing child who cannot.

Go, language development!


They're big on self-help at preschool. All the kids can put on their own jackets (if not do the zippers), pull up their own boots (if not on the right feet), and get their hats on their heads (if not in such a way that they can still see). And when they come in, all the kids get themselves undressed and put all their own gear away on hooks and mats and in cubbies.

Munchkin has trouble with her splash pants. She wears a lot of skirts, and tends to get tangled, or to pull off everything and flash her bum. She finds this frustrating.

Yesterday, she was the last kid in the vestibule before storytime, struggling to get out of her outside clothes. Teacher M called out to her to hurry up, because story time (Munchkin's VERY FAVORITE PART OF THE DAY) was about to start without her. What she got in response?

"I CAN'T GET THESE GODDAMN SPLASH PANTS OFF." (grumble, grumble, inarticulate swearing and grunting).

Go, language development!


Beck said...

Language development is a funny thing - at once so helpful and at the same time so full of dangerous pitfalls. I quickly learned to curb my once formidable potty mouth so that my kids wouldn't reveal me as a closet swearer. fun.

Debbie said...

Oh, too funny. And so sweet.

slouchy said...

oh, god. that first vignette pulls at my heart.

Jenifer said...

For us verbal advances have always been a bit of a strange one..with two highly verbal girls it is easy to forget they are still little girls. They speak so much like always throws me.

Poor Munchkin she must have been in a deep sleep and had no idea what happened when she woke up. What a nice end to the story.

Omaha Mama said...

I love it when you can start to reason with them, I love it when they reason right back.
That last bit? Thanks for the laugh. That is hilarious, though maybe you didn't think so whilst being told by the preschool teacher!