Perhaps Maddie has a little too much on her plate right now to bother with verbal communication. She’s been taking baby steps, climbing stairs and working very hard on her non-verbal communication skills. As if that weren’t enough, she got vaccinations in three of her four major limbs on Friday. She took the shots like a champ, but was extra crispy off and on all day Saturday.
But even with that little added flavor, Maddie is ratcheting up her communication skills – even if she is not bothering to use any words yet. Our little girl is becoming quite proficient at showing us what she wants and when she wants it.
I’m also becoming suspicious of exactly how much English she already understands. Maddie is beginning to demonstrate a level of reaction to language that goes beyond inflection and tone of voice. That’s not to say that the baby is complying with parental requests, it’s just becoming apparent that she knows what we are asking and is choosing to ignore us.
She is also becoming more and more proficient at entertaining the people around her. She inherently knows the tricks to get people stop, take notice and smile at her. Even when we were leaving the pediatrician’s office on Friday, the doctor rushed out so she could say goodbye to Maddie before she left.
So for now, we are absolutely enjoying the games of communication cat and mouse with the baby. But it seems like she is ready to break down and start speaking to us at any moment.
With a full day scheduled with the relatives, dad’s day with the baby was going to be extremely limited. This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a very rare occurrence for Maddie and her dad to be separated for any extended period of time.
Knowing this beforehand, I had to make the most of my time with Maddie. The baby sounded the wakeup call some time before 6am. After her bottle we spent some time playing on the floor and then headed outside.
We had some serious talking to do during breakfast, so we hit our usual spots and then headed for the stone benches at the city courthouse. I swung the stroller around to face me and we started eating our breakfast.
We made jokes together and I talked about father and daughter stuff. Maddie didn’t really seem to understand our conversation, but she definitely seems to enjoy it. Of course Maddie isn’t speaking yet, but that has yet to negatively impact the depth of our conversations.
About halfway through our meal, Maddie started proclaiming her thoughts in some unintelligible baby talk. This seemed to delight several commuters that were on their way to the path station. The louder Maddie got, the more attention she captured. And the more attention she got with her antics, the more entertaining this little show became.
Maddie is highly tuned into her surroundings now and is already showing signs of being hyper-observant like her father. I let her entertain the general public for about ten extra minutes before finally packing her up and heading home.
It was a strange feeling knowing that I was leaving her for the day, but I am already charged up and ready to make it up to her tomorrow.
At 8-months-old, Maddie has yet to speak a single sentence – but this morning she decided to unveil a new form of communication with her grandmother. It’s raw, guttural and sounds like the baby is roughly clearing her throat. But this is her new chosen mode of communication to share with her grandmother aka MiMi.
Although this language is a little rough around the edges and is a little bizarre, it is most certainly laced with affection. MiMi props Maddie up on her leg and starts speaking to her. Suddenly these terrifically forceful grunts/throat-clearing noises erupt from somewhere deep within the baby.
We have never seen Maddie so adamant to be heard and understood. This phenomenon took shape during the course of the day where Maddie got to hang out not only with her grandparents, but two of her great-grandparents as well. The house was blessed with several family members and Maddie batted her eyes and happily interacted with all of them.
But once she was back with MiMi, the Planet of the Apes noises started all over again. It’s obvious that many of us are unknowingly encouraging this behavior. And no one is guiltier of it than I am. It is nearly impossible not to be entertained by such a sweet and adorable little girl that is sounding off like a rabid junkyard dog straining at the leash.
Maddie has a very keen eye for things that direct attention towards her. It is definitely something for us to keep in mind as the baby becomes more and more advanced.
What we really hope is that she doesn’t decide to communicate with everyone with this roughshod little language of hers. Trust me when I say the general public is not ready for it. We are hoping that over a short period of time that these verbal eruptions might smooth out a bit and become a bit more gregarious.