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Use Your Wordsâ¦or Maybe, donâ™t

My girl’s a talker. Three years old and she communicates in nice long sentences. Paragraphs even. Actually, books. She tells me how she feels and what she thinks and she tells other people what she thinks and feels.



“I have a big tummy” she told the other mommys at a birthday party the other day, pointing at her perfectly slightly rounded toddler belly. They all smiled at her, funny girl she is. You know what’s coming next and so did I as she raised her sweet little head to me. I should’ve ran but I just stood there as she pointed at me and said, “My mommy has a really big tummy.”



Mommy needs to go on a diet. However, I can’t even bring my Diet Coke on this trip as somewhere along the line she learned that “Soda is bad for you. Drink water. Water is good for you. Put the soda away.” Children…are….so …much …fun. I don’t have a child, I have another mother.



When she was a little baby, I’d hold her as she cried. Rocking her, feeding her, burping her, changing her, combining all the above then adjusting the temperature, dimming the light, turning on the white noise machine, dancing around the apartment for hours singing Christmas Carols and one Billy Joel song, the whole repertoire of songs I can remember, and then taking her on long midnight walks down the semi-deserted streets of New York City in December, all in an effort to stop her crying – as she could not tell me what It was she wanted. And I thought, this will be so much easier when she can talk.



Silly me. I didn’t imagine quite what kids would say once they did talk.



“I will NOT wear that.”



“I want to go home NOW”



“Mommy, you make me angry. I don’t like you. Go away.”



Were these things she was thinking of as an infant but just couldn’t express?



But I like it better now that she can talk because she can also understand more. We have conversations and tea parties. I know her favorite foods and her opinions. I like knowing how she feels, which boys in her class she thinks are cute (and I hadn't even thought to ask) and if the temperature in the car is OK, whether she wants to go to the mall or the museum.



And hearing my child say “I love you” is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.

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