Explanations, Nouns and Stages

Did someone say all growth is painful? Rory is gaining nouns and verbs in leaps and bounds. She’s still hard to understand, but she can say so many more things and she wants to say so many more things. Her favorite teacher told me she was a little disturbed, because she’s actually having more trouble understanding Rory lately–but I’ve already figured that out. For a long time, I think Rory would have some complex thought (for a four- or five-year-old) and just think, hell, I’m not even going to bother–they are NEVER going to get this. So she’s say, you know, one of her usual things just to make sure we still knew she was in the room (“Member, Mommy? Member you come get me China?”) and I would know she was processing something, or maybe I wouldn’t think about it at all.

Now she tries. If she wants to explain in detail how she scored a goal in hockey, and then someone came up behind her and she fell but the puck still went in, she goes for it–tenses, complex verbs, unknown nouns and all. And sometimes we get it, and sometimes we don’t. If we’re ready to listen, she’ll keep going until we get it. If we’re not, she’ll keep repeating it until we are. But if we assume we know what she’s trying to say, and either try to complete it for her or feed it back to her wrong–well, that makes her mad. And, hey, I can understand that. I try really hard to take the time to let her get it out.

And this works pretty well, although she’s been known to try to manipulate me with it (as in, she’s yelling incoherently and having a hissy fit over some slight or another, and I refuse to listen, and then she turns on the waterworks–“But I just tryin’ to tell you somethin! And you not listen! I no like when you not listen!” And I say, no, you’re not trying to tell me something, you’re trying to cry over something that happened weeks ago because you think it will make me listen to you and not Wyatt right now, and it won’t.

(Remind me to post on “but I just” sometime. I can remember MY parents telling me they didn’t want to hear any sentence with the word “just” again, every. Apparently lawyers breed lawyers whether we actually spawn them or not.)

But what’s painful about this for me (me! me! me!) is that Rory just wants to know a whole lot of things right now. Like what road we’re driving on, and why we’re driving on it, and why we are going so fast or so slow or turning right here or not turning right there or stopping now or going now or….how great is it that she’s so curious about all these things? How great?

After a long, long day of hauling kids from one place to another, not really so great at all.

A better mother would just welcome and celebrate all this growth, even in the middle of a really interesting piece on All Things Considered, wouldn’t she?

2 Responses to “Explanations, Nouns and Stages”

  1. That must be what people mean when they say, “Ohhhh, just wait till your son starts to talk! He’ll never shut up! You’ll see!” They make it sound so foreboding. At the moment, it seems like it would be a huge improvement over, “Da? Da? Doose? Doose? Doose? Doose? Doose? Die die? Die die? Da? Da? Da? Da? Da? Da? Da? Die die? Teen. Die die? Doose?”

    But if it’s not an improvement, I’m not sure what they expect me to do about it now.

  2. Lisen says:

    Awesome that she’s gaining vocab and a willingness to try out the words for complex thoughts! Even though I know how much harder that makes it to understand what teh heck she’s trying to tell you. Ali and Chloe are sort of there, only still really holding back a lot. If either one gets rolling with a complex explanation, we all lose what they were trying to say. They don’t try much (yet) so I’m glad Rory is at that point now.
    Ali’s teacher recently pulled me aside at pick-up tp tell me they are concerned about how little vocabulary she has. I reminded her that Ali’s only been speaking English for a year, but it did get me thinking about how many words for things she still has no idea about. And Chloe, well, Chloe can still barely talk and what words she is adding, I think only those of us in her immediate family can understand.