Note: That cut on his forehead? Well, Tyler decided to pull a bookcase (it was more of a shelving unit) over onto himself. The edge caught him right down the middle of his forehead. He screamed!!! When I asked if he wanted a hug, he stopped crying and said, “Yaaaaaaaa” in the most pathetic tone possible.
“Tyler, this is a sheep. Sheep. A sheep says ‘bahhhh’. Can you say ‘bahhhh’?”
The above is an example of how we introduce animals to Tyler. My thought process is that, when you have a baby (obviously, Tyler was still a baby when we started talking to him about animals) who can barely manage single sounds, it would make more sense to have him say “ba,” then “bah,” then “bahhhhh” than it would be to try and get him to say “sheep”. Especially when he can’t even make the “sh” sound yet.
Lately, I’ve found myself wondering if my approach was the right one…
Tyler is in love with two inanimate objects. The first is Monkey. Monkey is a stuffed animal.
“This is a monkey. A monkey says ‘ooo oo AHH AHH’.”
“Good job, buddy! You’re the smartest baby on the planet!” And yes, I really have said that once or twice.
Tyler’s second favorite is the bane of my existence. Elmo. I hate Elmo. He has a stupid voice, stupid red fur, and is stupidly annoying. I won’t delve into the reasons for my hatred of Elmo *cough*commercialism*cough*. And although that little red thing has wormed his way into Tyler’s heart despite my best attempts to prevent it, rest assured that I plan to never personally purchase anything “Elmo”.
For whatever reason, Tyler can not (or will not) say “Elmo”. He can, however, say “Melmo”.
I walked into his room recently after he had awakened from a nap to find all of the contents of his crib on his floor. On these occasions, I find myself wondering why he would throw all that stuff out when he knows he’s just going to want it back, and then I shudder in fear of the thought that this is all a precursor to a forthcoming crib-prison escape. I sometimes think I should put a couple pillows on the floor to catch his fall when he is finally able to climb over the rail, but wouldn’t that just make me an enabler or, at the very minimum, an accomplice to the crime? *Mental note: It’s time to lower his mattress again.*
“Did you have a good nap, buddy?” I asked in an accopella tone.
“Good,” I said, as I pulled him from the crib and carried him towards the door.
Tyler turned, pointed at the floor and said, “Melmo.”
In the most agreeable voice I could muster while scowling at the object of Tyler’s pointing, I told Tyler that we had, indeed, forgotten Melmo, and thanked him for reminding me. As I attempted to walk out of the room for the second time, Tyler repeated his action and said, “Ah Ah!”
“Oh yes. We forgot Monkey too. Let’s go back and get him. You know, Tyler, if you hadn’t thrown them out of your crib in the first place, we wouldn’t need to do all this extra work to get your babies.”
He seems to have a pretty good grasp on what yes and no mean, so I’m operating on the likely misguided thought that he really grasped what I was explaining to him.
Once we were downstairs and had finished wrestling around – which mostly involves me picking Tyler up and throwing him onto the couch – I sat Tyler down to school him on something. I held monkey up and said, “Tyler, who is this?”
“No, that is the sound a monkey makes. This is a monkey. Mon-key.”
Silence from Tyler.
“Okay… Can you say ‘mon’?”
“Good job. Now say ‘key’.”
“PERFECT! Now say ‘monkey’.”
 Proven to be incorrect the very next day.
The scene: Bedtime. We’ve just finished reading stories.
Dad: “Tyler, are you ready to go to sleep?”
Tyler, while shaking his head: “Noo.” It sounds more like “new” coming from his mouth, and he puckers his lips while saying it.
Dad: “Are you tired?”
Dad: “Soooo, do you want to go to bed?”
This is the inaugural post of the “Conversations” category. We all have kids. We know they say funny things. I’m sure what Tyler says is funnier to me, in the moment, than when you read it, but these posts will be short, and I’m sure you can cope with it. As Tyler learns to say more and more things, and tries to converse with us, you’ll see this category grow… and you can say you’ve been there since its inception.