It seems odd to continue to refer to "the bean" as "the bean" now that he is an actual toddler (by definition and temperament) and is less than 2 weeks from the Big One Year Birthday. I feel that he should graduate to a new nickname, like "the BeanSprout". There seems to be more potential for him with the BeanSprout nickname, more growth and activity, seeking of the sun, branching out, photosynthesis, you know all that metaphorical crap...
What do y'all think? Bad idea in the course of the blogging relationship to suddenly change a major character's handle? I changed N's handle very early on after enduring a whole two weeks of grown man whining (which in my book is only slightly more tolerable than a sharp, fucking stick in the ear and induces far less bleeding). But, is this different?
Moving on, the BeanSprout (formerly known as the Bean) was lagging a little in the mastery of the English language, lacking any real skills beyond that of a Mardi Gras reveler at 4 AM on Ash Wednesday. As a result, we started actively working on some language development exercises with him -- giving him names for objects, talking to him about things we see when we are out and about, giving him simple commands, etc. Where as, before we just duct-taped his mouth shut while we were watching TV and pointed at shit around the house and grunted.
What?!?! It worked for the dogs. They know when to shut up and be quiet and how to indicate their desire to be fed or let outside. What more does the BeanSprout really need to communicate?
Anyway, in the course of walking/running around the house and going about our daily lives with BeanSprout, naming things in English and Spanish (to the best of our very limited ability with the help of our very capable and fluent nanny), we have made an interesting discovery.
Jeebus, May and Joe, the BeanSprout is a motor-mouth. Once you get him started, this kid will not shut-up. Not only that, but he is bit of a back-chatterer and likes to interrupt. A few days ago, while
building up and knocking down Lego towers engaging in brain-building play on the floor, we asked BeanSprout to come back over for more play in order to divert his attention away from eating one of Cole's hairballs that he had so lovingly selected from under the cabinet. He turned to us, and with this face, began a 2-minute long torrent of gibberish. While distracted from consuming the hairball, it wasn't exactly the outcome for which I had hoped.
N.turned to me and said "you might have a problem with this one." Um, OK...
And as far as we can tell, he isn't using actual words (although, he could be speaking Spanish for all we know), so he is just yelling incoherent crap at us. ALL DAY LONG.* From about 2 seconds after he wakes up until 3.75 seconds before his face hits the pillow for nap and bedtime, this kid is chatting. Unless of course we have his mouth plugged up with food. Not even the binky can slow him down. Chatting with the nanny, with the dogs, with toys and stuffed animals, the doors and windows, the swiffer, the dishwasher, whatever. Now that we have introduced him to things around the house, everything is fair game for an extended and often heated discussion.
A lot of time it is quite charming. But, sometimes it is a little irritating. Like when I am trying to talk on the phone (or even worse, trying to conduct a conference call for work) and he just gets louder and louder until I have to
shove a sock or cookie in his mouth politely end the conversation. Or, when we are hanging out at the local book store and you can hear him extolling the virtues of A Snowy Day versus Are you My Mother? from the freaking periodicals section.
And I know that he understands the difference between an "outside" and "inside" voice because we have played whispering games. Perhaps, this is a case of selective memory or (unfortunately, more likely) perhaps, he just doesn't care.
It is a good thing that they make duct-tape in different colors. At least we can make sure the he is coordinated with his outfits.
* and for the record, N and I are NOT yellers. If BeanSprout learns anything about communication from us, it will be the long-cherished art of passive-aggressive confrontation. He will learn how to say scathing things whilst smiling at the other person. That, or he will gain the ability to just sigh the fully-loaded "whatever" and walk away.