Shut Up Already!

I’m dying to say that to my son. If only he could talk back, so I could harshly put him down. The ability to use verbal abuse is one of the many privileges of being a parent and I’m looking forward to – pun intended – abusing it.

The irony is that when he’s a teenager he’ll turn the tables on me with never-ending sarcasm and constant disrespectfulness; but that’s when I bust out the PHYSICAL ABUSE, Good Will Hunting-style. If there’s anything Papa Hunting knew how to do, it was how to beat the genius into somebody, whether he used a belt, stick or wrench.

But back to my son. He isn’t talking back just yet, but he is talking, at least a little. Or maybe it’s more like “talk.”

He babbles a ton; and he can say a few actual words (hi, dada, button) as well as a few other words that are really just sounds whose meaning we extrapolate (hi, dada, button) in order to pretend he’s a prodigy. But he doesn’t really talk. But he doesn’t seem to realize that; he clearly thinks thinks he’s communicating with the best of them.

Based on the vehemence with which he filibusters, it’s obvious the little mush-mouth thinks he’s imparting some genuine wisdom to the crowd (my wife and I). And he gets oh so angry when you don’t parse his meaning. Little does he know he’s making nothing but gibberish noises while flailing his limbs in some kind of pantomime-y approach to indicating how badly he wants to eat the magnet you’re holding. But son, how can you have any magnet when you don’t eat your meat?

It can be easy to forget your dealing with someone who is learning to talk, rather than someone who’s had a lobotomy and just can’t express himself like a normal person. Most of the time my son sounds – and acts – like Borden Grote:

Frankly, I’m bored with this stage in his development. He’s in between everything. He can’t quite walk, he can’t quite talk, he can’t quite eat or drink, etc., but at the same time he can kind of do all of that. Of course, much like my whole “I can’t wait for him to crawl/walk/use the toilet” eagerness, I fear that my “I can’t wait for him to talk!” enthusiasm will be harshly tempered once he can actually converse. I’m sure that, just as he now won’t stop crawling into dangerous places/walking into walls/hogging the freaking bathroom – there will come a time where his constant talking will be too much to take and I’ll regret this post.

But until then, I’m ready. If the kid doesn’t start making something happen, change is going to come. And unlike Will Hunting, it WILL be my son’s fault.

How do you like them apples?

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