Thursday, April 23, 2009

Baby Talkin'

I was talking to a friend on the phone last night and was telling her some of the funny things Ian says like,"My penis is on backwards."

She said,"Does he actually say 'penis'?"

I said,"Yes, of course, what else would he call it? Peepee? He also says 'vagina'*. I hate cutsie names for things."

Even with nursing, I make the ASL sign for "milk" and say "milk". Not "numnums" or "nursie" or anything else. It is just not my style. In fact, it annoys me. If a special word is child-initiated, then that is less bothersome and can sometimes be cute, but so often, you hear moms talking "baby talk" words to their infants. Moms, training babies to use made up/cutsie words.

I admit that babies take the most stoic or style-conscious mom and turn her into, what she previously considered to be babbling idiot with an unending stream of silly nicknames (for your baby) and made up songs. It happened to me. Ian is currently "My Binka-Dinka-Doo." And there are more. Many more, but I won't torture you with them. I am not immune to the power of baby. In fact, I am not immune to the power of puppy, you should hear my songs for Roxxy, like,"If I can have Roxx, I don't want no puppy, baby."

However, when it comes to body parts or any other nouns, I use the real word. I have no desire to use anything else, except for the words that Ian has made up himself and even then I try to resist so he learns the proper word. Ian has a habit of abbreviating. He calls the refrigerator "the fridger". He calls bananas "'nanas" and zucchini "'cchini". It does sound cute to me, which demonstrates the power of baby, because as much as cutsie nanes made up by adults grate on me, child-created names from my own child still seem cute to me. Still, I try to resist and use the proper names.

*According to sex therapist, Dr. Laura Berman, we should be saying "vulva" instead of "vagina" because "vagina" is just the internal part. Need to make that change.


Elita said...

I agree with you totally! My son is 16 months old and I teach him the proper words for things. I do say "pee pee" and "poo poo" but only because those are easy for him to say. I always asked him if he wanted to nurse but he made up the word "babah" for nursing (I am guessing cause the kids at daycare ask for a bottle and call it that?) I have read before that kids who learn the proper names for body parts are less likely to be molested. Something about being more self-assured and less likely to allow someone to touch them in a private place.

Connie said...

I do not like a lot of baby words - some are ok when the kids are little and a small word is easier for them to say, like poo or pee (important concepts to get across when you're toilet training!). I dislike baby talk - and I don't mean joking around with baby talk, there's a time and place for play (with kids and pets!), but I mean people who baby talk to their kids as if that is the only language they understand (the people who later will wonder about the need for speech therapy!) but, I have been hooked on a few baby words that just fit.. only a couple! I admit to using nums for breast milk - my baby used to nurse and hum at the same time - nurse and hum became num. But I also used 'breasts', 'mother's milk' and other real words, esp. for body parts. Sometimes kids cannot pronounce a complicated word - so, use it anyway and they'll eventually get it. Some baby words I appreciate too much. I tried to teach the kids 'vomit' or 'hairball'... but they always called a cats' mess 'bleah', as in, "There's cat bleah in the hall." .. I really had a hard time correcting them on that one.