Some time ago, I watched my sister babble gibberish to her new bouncing baby girl, extending every vowel and in a high pitched, girly voice. My niece cooed and squealed with the incomprehensible baby words my sister spoke. A foreign, new language between mother and baby that only they understood. A bit dorky, and funny to me. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“You’re such a dork,” I said.
My sister replied, “Someday, you’ll be a dork too and talk to your baby like this.”
That time and day has come and I find myself speaking baby gibberish like a cartoon character because it makes him laugh. The sillier, the more my baby mimics my funny voice and kicks his little feet. I too, have a language that only my baby understands. Funny words and sayings, dance moves and facial expressions that is sure to bring him laughs.
In a store, I use my sweet baby voice to point out objects to my baby. “Oh,” I will say in a long, drawn out o-sound, “Look at this baby. Should we buy it?”
On walks around the neighborhood, my over exuberated voice explains where we are going and what I see, “Look at the puppy over there!” Sometimes, I point out the not so pleasant things I see, but in a sweet voice, “Somebody needs to mow their lawn and it’s NOT our house.” It keeps me entertained.
When I’m driving, I say in my mommy voice, “That’s a very bad driver. He didn’t use his blinker to turn.” He usually laughs and kicks just from the sound of my voice. I even keep the explicate language in a cute voice.
All my baby’s toys have names too. There is Ducky, the pacifier with a bright yellow, stuffed duck glued to the end that makes sucking on a pacifier a bit more fun. We have the Crunchy Monkey, which sounds more like a dive bar in New Jersey than my son’s crinkly stuffed monkey. We have Puppy, his bright blue dog rattle that clips to the car seat. Sophie, his chewable giraffe and Piggly Wiggly, the pink pig rattle he commandeered in Target when I wasn’t looking.
I’ve also come across naming my kid’s bowel movements. Maybe it’s the humor of what I’ve found in the diaper that makes it less deplorable. There are times my husband and I find ourselves saying, “What kind of diaper is it this morning. Squishy or poopy?” When my baby was a newborn, we had tar poop. Then came mustard poop and lava poop. Now with my baby eating solids, we have avocado poop, pea soup poop, and chocolate pudding poop. But the most common, is blowout poop that occurs in the early morning.
There are also my reading voices. After reading the same five sentence, baby approved books over and over again, it’s boring. So, I made up voices to make story time a lot less bland. I’ve mastered the valley girl accent better than any Californian. I can quote short stories using an English speaking Russian mobster. Snotty English Woman is the voice I use to read Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary. There is also Count Dracula, Southern Dame, Country Bumpkin, and French Socialite voices I use for reading more nursery rhymes.
Sometimes those voices and my dorky ways carry over into public situations. I get side glances from bystanders when I talk to my little one in that high-pitched Southern baby voice or reference a toy by its proper full name. I know what they are thinking. But I don’t care.
It’s just me, and the dorky things I do as a parent.