The Evolution of the Boop Beep
A couple weeks ago I was out walking with Gwen in her stroller. We we crossing the street and a woman who crossed ahead of me stopped dead on the sidewalk, preventing me from pushing the stroller up the sloped part of the curb (aside: what are those parts of the sidewalk called? Curb slopes? Gutter ramps? idk but LISTEN PEOPLE you should give curb slope priority to the elderly, people with disabilities, people with baby strollers, and others who lack the ability to just step up onto the curb). I was stuck in the street so I said to her, very clearly, “boop beep.”
Obviously, I spend too much time with children. People who spend time with adults say “excuse me,” they don’t say boop beep. Why do I even say boop beep? I’m guessing I must have started by saying beep beep to kids when they were in my way, like a car. Car noises! Beeps! Kids love those things. At some point beep beep turned into boop beep; I don’t know why. Sometimes it’s a little song instead: BEE-bah-boo-BEEEEEEP. Thank god I didn’t say that to a stranger. That would be too much.
I Finally Understand
When we were packing up to go to the Island for Thanksgiving Taylor hit a snag when he discovered he no longer owns a duffle bag. He used to own one, it was hideous and he never used it so I may have encouraged him to get rid of it during a storage room purging session. Whatever the case, he’s now duffle-less, so he hinted that maybe a new duffle bag would be a cool thing to get him for Christmas. Since then I’ve been paying more attention to any cool duffle bags I’ve seen online (they pop up on my tumblr dashboard a lot because I’ve slowly been replacing every tumblr I used to follow with tumblrs that just post pictures of nature and artisanal foods and whimsical people who apparently use a lot of duffle bags). Last week a saw one I thought was great, so I made a mental note of the site it was from and of course I immediately forgot where it was from. A couple days later I spent too long wracking my brain trying to remember and I thought to myself “WHY DIDN’T YOU PIN THAT DUFFLE BAG YOU FOOL” and in that instant I finally understood the point of Pinterest. Happy ending: That cool duffle bag popped up on my tumblr dash again and I promptly pinned it to my brand new duffle bag pinboard, which is the only thing on my new Pinterest account.
Not a Baby, Not Yet Possessing the Ability to Form Words
Gwen is turning two in a couple weeks. In some ways she seems so much younger than that and in others, much older. She’s so tall, her size and her long hair have always made her seem less babyish than her true age, but now her speech delay makes her seem like she’s still a baby. I sometimes forget that she can understand perfectly what we are saying to her, can follow complicated directions and do so many things for herself now. It’s like a weird kind of cognitive dissonance; I see her speaking only in babbles and simple sounds and my brain thinks she is a baby when really, she’s not. I’m still waiting to hear from the community health office when her appointment with the speech therapist is going to be, which makes me SO GLAD I took her to the doctor and started this process in August instead of waiting until her second birthday.
In order to stop her from climbing on my desk and destroying my computer I have to keep the chair tied to the desk with a bungee cord. Yesterday I couldn’t find the bungee cord and I said “UGH WHERE IS THAT DUMB THING” aloud to myself. Gwen immediately ran over to the little play kitchen and retrieved the cord from the cupboard she’d hidden it in. I didn’t ask her to find it, I didn’t mention it by name, but by my actions she knew exactly what I was looking for and remembered where she’d put it. I bought her these cute new shoes with little fox faces on them and when I asked her to “go get your new shoes” she knew exactly which shoes I was talking about. Not her old shoes, not any of her boots, her new shoes.
She is starting to use more sounds on a regular basis but still no actual words. She rarely gets frustrated by her inability to communicate. If she wants something she’ll reach for it and say “la” (she used to say “ma” for this but now it’s la, idk why), if it’s in another room she’ll take our hands and lead us to it. If she hands us something like food or a book and shakes her head it means she doesn’t want us to give it back, she wants us to eat it or read it (whichever is more appropriate, decided on a case by case basis). If she walks up to me pulling the sides of she shirt/jacket/cardigan forward and saying “buh” I know she wants me to do up the buttons. If she is pulling on the back of her shirt/jacket/sweater I know she wants help getting the hood on, although since not every clothing item in the entire world has a hood this is sometimes not possible, which makes her angrier than not being able to communicate more effectively.