Saturday, October 25, 2008

Be careful what you wish for: Bubba speaks! and speaks and speaks and speaks

Bubba has said "da-da" twice now. Both times he was not prompted, he just sort of blurted it out and then promptly forgot about it and no amount of encouragement can make him say it again. I had actually been a little concerned lately because Bubba hasn't really been a vocal baby. Crying, yes, he can cry like a crying machine, but he didn't coo, or gurgle or make any of those noises that babies make. He will grunt at you, if you have food that he wants (which is pretty much anything), but the grunting has been it so far. I wasn't dwelling on the idea that he wasn't vocalizing, but it was in the back of my mind.

Then two days ago, while eating dinner at my mother-in-law's house, Bubba said "Ma-ma". My heart leapt. I was thrilled. And he hasn't stopped saying it, either. My concerns were for naught, because the boy won't stop chattering now. He crawls around the house chanting, "Ma-ma, ma-ma, ma-ma". When he's not actually saying it, he's mouthing it. He also added his own name to the mix: "Bu-ba".

Yes, we really do call him Bubba. I have felt the need to defend myself for that since a woman at school asked me if I thought I was perpetuating or encouraging the stereotype of the dumb southerner by calling my son Bubba. Um, no, it's just his nickname. But I digress:

So now he crawls around saying, "Ma-ma, Bu-ba, Ma-ma, Bu-ba" over and over. He has started yelling (mostly at his sister), shrieking from the sheer joy of playing with barbecue tongs (his favorite toy, currently), and doing all the giggling and cooing and such. It's charming.

Yesterday he was following me around the kitchen while I was trying to prepare a bottle. He was, as he usually is when he's waiting for a bottle, absolutely certain of the fact that he will never be fed again. The theatrics he lays on are impressive - moaning, and big tears, and laying on his stomach and rubbing his face into the floor from sheer agonizing hunger. Now he has added to his repertoire the forlorn and pitiful "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma....." on and on into perpetuity. Constantly, until he has what he wants. Not quite as charming. But still good to hear.

Bella has also added to her vocabulary and has been busy peppering her conversations with some lovely new expletives. The other day she asked her brother: "What the hell do you want?". Not charming at all, I have to say. We are working on it. She's really been pushing her limits at home lately. I don't know what is going on. She is regularly being belligerent, and blatantly not listening, she is talking back.....I am rapidly approaching my wit's end (which is not a long trip). Last night I asked her to do something to which she replied, "No, I'm not doing that". I was astonished and replied with a well-thought "What?", at which point she fled the room. I tracked her down - she ran away from me again and into another room, and I asked her what was going on and she laughed, she laughed and said, "Nothing, why? What? Geez." I had to take a moment to regroup. This is not my well-behaved daughter.

So now I'm having to rethink my parenting policies. Not that I have them listed - there's no parenting mission statement in my house, although maybe there should be. I have really been thinking about this a lot lately and I think I know what I need to do.

I feel so overwhelmed, a lot of the time. And there are so many people who have so much more going on than I do. The librarian at Bella's school? She has 9 children, the youngest of whom (twins!) are in kindergarten. She is the school librarian, and she used to be parish education coordinator until the Salesian Sisters came into the parish. And did I mention that she has 9 kids? I have two children, a part-time job (30 hours a week) and an apartment the size of a closet and I am having trouble coping? I bet she would just laugh. Well, probably not, because she is too nice to laugh, but I bet she would want to laugh.

I'm just in a rough patch. Things will smooth over. They have to! Tomorrow is another day, and all that. And if I say it enough, I might just believe it. Happy weekend, all!


Aimee said...

Don't be too hard on yourself -- just because you may feel like you "only" have two kids, that doesn't mean the job is easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Bella's probably going through a phase, but it might be the perfect time to start the crackdown on discipline if that's what you want to do. baby steps, my friend :)

And congrats on Bubba's words! Bun says, "Hi" and "Dada" but he just laughs when ROb tries to get him to say "Mama" I told Rob not to bother -- the other ones spend the whole day yelling "Mom!" so let Bun call for his father for a while :)

Jennifer said...

I'll bet you a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts that Bella's librarian gets overwhelmed from time to time. Since I can't get Krispy Kreme's out here, if I'm right it's almost guaranteed that I'm flying to where you are to collect on that bet. :)