How you communicate at 13 months

November 1, 2017

Dear Rebecca

i had forgotten that at this age, a baby doesn’t have words to communicate, and that they pretty much have grunting, crying, laughing, pointing and moaning as a way of letting others know how they feel and what they’re after.

This is how a typical “conversation” and engagement might go between the two of us:

  • Rebecca points to drawer on mom’s bedside table. Lets out a grunt
  • Mom, like a good mom, diligently opens the door, and picks out what she thinks Rebecca might like to play with at that time. She gives Rebecca the Ventolin (don’t worry folks, Rebecca doesn’t know how to spray it, and only uses it to put the cover on and off).
  • Rebecca grunts, frustrated.
  • It’s clear mom pulled out the wrong item. She tries again, and hauls out the glasses.
  • Rebecca moans and carries on pointing at the drawer.
  • Mom pulls out the Labello, the hand cream and the sports watch.
  • Fail again! Rebecca is agitated and starts groaning some more.
  • Mom desperately pulls out the FoxAir, lanyard, more hand cream and charging cable.
  • Rebecca lets her know this is the worst mistake, and wails, even more irritated than before.
  • Mom lifts Rebecca, holds her over the drawer to let her choose what she wants. Rebecca selects the packet of pocket tissues, and grins.
  • Mom realises that this is barely a victory for her. She should have held Rebecca over the drawer in the first place.
  • Repeat, in different scenarios and with different items

My favourite daughter, you are so darn cute, and yet I’m battling to sometimes know what you want. You can’t be swayed into wanting something other than what you had planned on in the first place, and you’re too smart (or stubborn, or strong-minded?) to be conned into finding something interesting when that wasn’t on your radar initially.

On Sunday for example, we were out a restaurant, and you spotted your favourite restaurant “toy” – a colddrink can. Obviously we can’t explain that the can needs to be empty before it gets given to you, and the owner of the drink has to drink from the glass swiftly in order to empty out all the colddrink. During this time, you are like a blinkered racehorse. You can’t see beyond the tin, nor can you be persuaded to play with your real toys, or snack on something while you wait, or enjoy some quality time with your mother while she jumps you up and down to distract you.

Nope. You saw the tin, you want the tin, and you’ll moan until you get the tin. In the works of Metallica, nothing else matters.

It’s like we’re constantly playing a game of “What does Rebecca want” with your pointing at something and grunting, and your dad and I trying to figure out what it is. We’re getting better though, but I don’t always grasp what you want. It’s not that you’re spoilt or difficult – you just know what you want

Please don’t feel like I’m complaining. Rather, I’m giving insight into what you’re like so that you will hopefully enjoy learning about yourself as a baby (I know nothing about myself, and I’m a bit sad about that).

In other news, about two weeks ago I noticed you had two molars in your mouth, and a few days ago I saw the other two coming out, as well a new bottom tooth. How you sprout teeth painlessly is incredible. How I’m able to fish around in your mouth is also incredible – you hate it! What you do love though is brushing your teeth. Whenever you see me brushing my teeth, you moan a bit, which is the cue for me going to get your toothbrush, putting some toothpaste on, and giving it to you.

See, sometimes I get it. The rest, I’m still learning.


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