Turner is an excellent conversationalist

I talk to Turner as if he is a grown up. I have no problem admitting that my best friend is just over three-months-old. He is a brilliant listener and although there is a small language barrier right now, he is a a phenomenal conversationalist.


Where the problem lies is that I don’t just talk to Turner when we are at home, or when we are riding in the car, I will carry out full conversations with Turner everywhere. When we are at the grocery store, and it is just me and my little prince, I don’t care. We can talk about the weather, I ask him his opinion on which brand of baby food he wants, even ask him to help me pick out his clothes.

 I am not entirely insane. I can admit that he has absolutely no idea what I am saying at this point in his life. While his head may be a little larger than most, his little brain is working just as hard as it can to figure things out. I talk to him because it builds comprehension. It increases his vocabulary.

 Just this year, the New York Times published an article about the impact talking to your child can have on their development (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/10/the-power-of-talking-to-your-baby/?_r=0).

 If you don’t want to read the entire article, one crucial component of the article states: “Another idea, however, is creeping into the policy debate: that the key to early learning is talking — specifically, a child’s exposure to language spoken by parents and caretakers from birth to age 3, the more the better. It turns out, evidence is showing, that the much-ridiculed stream of parent-to-child baby talk — Feel Teddy’s nose! It’s so soft! Cars make noise — look, there’s a yellow one! Baby feels hungry? Now Mommy is opening the refrigerator! — is very, very important.”

I don’t always talk to Turner in a high pitched voice or what people refer to as “baby talk” a lot of times I talk to him like he is an adult. I really do not see the harm in it, especially, when studies show it boost creativity and development. But when I am in public, and forget that there are people outside for the me and Turner bubble that I tend to typically live in, I get some serious stares. Generally from people who either do not have kids, have forgotten what it is like to have kids, or are just mean people.

I really don’t think having a conversation with my son warrants empty and confused stares by on-lookers, but nonetheless, it does. At times, I want to look at them and be like, “can I help you?” But then I remember that I am an adult, that I was raised better than that, and that all I can do is say bless your heart.

I didn’t read to Turner when he was in the womb as much as I should have, but I blame that on the fact that I work for a newspaper so I read and write for a living, so it is a little exhausting. I also probably don’t read to him now as much as most advanced baby scientists would say I should, but I think I do a pretty fair job of bridging that gap through constant dialogue.

He may not be able to understand it now, but I am confident that each word and each sound gets a little wheel going in his head and is working for the better. I just hope that is actually learns to talk a lot sooner than I did.

I was a solid five-years-old and the only person who could understand me was my momma. My aunts and other family members would often just have to send me to my mom to translate whatever I wanted. Thankfully, my awesome sister Ruby, you know, the one that does an awesome job of scanning my blog just for her name, posted a video of me when I was a kid so you can see first hand how challenged I was at the art of speaking (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzwwtuoQhWE).

I don’t know why I was such a late developer when it came to talking, and even since, I have a horrendous speech impediment. I cannot say my “R” words to save my life and have basically eradicated any “R” words from my daily verbal vocabulary to avoid the embarrassment of tripping up and sounding silly. When I was a kid my speech therapist, which I had to see from Kindergarten until 8th grades ( they didn’t offer it in high school or else I am sure I would have been there) would make me say “The Red Rooster Ran down the Road.” Which for me came out more like, “The Wed Wooster Wan down the Woad.” I would also have to say, “Ruby, can I borrow the computer.” Which sounded like, “Wuby, can I bowwow the computew.” Hopefully, I won’t pass that on… I really really hope.

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