Baby Talk -by Laura O.

Baby Talk -by Laura O.

lily stare

I’ve never been a goo-goo-gah-gah- type of gal.

My skin even prickles at the mention of the name Lady GaGa or hearing Christina Aguilera gitchy-gitchy-goo out the Real Lady Marmalade.

I can’t stand when my family doctor says “tah….tah” as she pokes at my baby’s chest. What does “tah” even mean? It’s hard enough to try and teach someone at ground zero to talk let alone throwing in random meaningless words. I also never understood why a voice had to go three octaves higher when talking to a baby.

I briefly thought about getting the family to talk to my daughter in a British accent just so she would have a chance at a better pay bracket when she entered the workforce. I mean how many unemployed people in Canada do you know who speak with a British accent? And lines like “Please sir, can I have some more.” just resonate with so much more meaning when said in a Dickensian fashion.

I always imagined if I ever had a baby I would talk to him/her at a normal volume, using a normal tone and speed. And for the most part I did that. I self-narrated my days for her and I tried to speak in complete sentences with decently proper grammar. I steered away from saccharine kids’ shows like “Barney” or “Bubble Guppies” in favor of “Peanuts” or “Sarah and Duck”.

After awhile I began to notice I spoke to others through my self-narration to my daughter. If I needed to relay information to my husband, for example, I would say something to her within earshot of him. “Mommy can go to the drugstore with Daddy after you finish eating your green beans.” Or “Daddy is going to fill your water bottle up so you can have a drink.” I crossed that line at some point without even being aware of it.

Be careful what you wish for. Now, at the age of one, if anyone dares to use a cheerful tone my child will level them with her ice queen stare. I’m completely mortified when she shoots daggers at the nice supermarket grandmother who simply wants to know where she got those “itsy bitsy shoes”. And I feel terrible for the nice lady at Walmart who rues the day she ever started playing that unrequited game of peek-a-boo.

Yes, I went too far. But there’s no going back. The blueprint has been written. There’s nothing left to do but finish typing this blog entry on the computer. And then I’m going to go outside for some fresh air.

But first I have to put my coat on. My right arm goes through this sleeve and my left arm goes through this one. This is my right boot. It goes on this foot and we tie the lace with a loop and pull it through like this. Then we do the left boot.*

*This blog is written in a British accent.

Laura O. is a visual artist from eastern Canada who now lives in Ontario. She is an OTA (older than average) first time mom of a happy baby girl.
Laura O. is a visual artist from eastern Canada who now lives and works in Ontario. She is an OTA (older than average) first time mom of a cheerful baby girl.

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