02 August 2012

Look at the poo poo!

Before becoming a mother I had all kinds of expectations for myself. One of these expectations is that I would not use ridiculous baby talk to interact with my child.

You know the kind with the high pitched voice and slurred consonants?

I've had a child now. I do it. You'll all do it. Its like a reflex.

Here are the few of the things I've found myself saying, or considered saying in my highest vocal registers to a little boy who has no idea what I'm saying, and no way to protest

     Warning: a large number of these have to do with bowel movements.
Also, why does referring to myself in the third person seem to happen so much more now?

     Why are you breathing like a troll?

     Come here you pooper scooper!

     Okay Mr. Drama Queen, lets take our whiny pants of.

     Lets take care of this poop on the bum problem!

     Who is the handsomest boy in the world?

    Lets not shoot mom in the face with that!

...and many more.

This is the usual response....


Carrie said...

I'm pretty sure I either learned in my linguistics class or heard on some sort of documentary that baby-talk is a universal thing that helps babies learn the linguistic keys of their birth language. The sounds you make, even if they are slurred and grammatically incorrect or silly, help him learn the way his language should sound (for instance, I'm pretty sure than unless Alex is around 24/7, he's not learning that bushman clicks and whistles are a normal part of everyday language), and the high pitched voice is easier to register in the baby's ears than lower pitches. That could all be complete malarky, but I'm pretty sure I heard it somewhere.

Cassandra said...

HAHA You are so awesome Karlie! And yes, actually Carrie is correct mostly. Here comes the nerdy psychologist! Look out! But yes, the reason why it is an instinct for mothers (and usually fathers as well) to speak in a higher pitch IS actually because it is better for the baby to learn language. It is actually called Parentese...no joke! (pronounced like Chinese) It's not necessarily that babies HEAR the high pitched voice better, but moreso that they RESPOND to it better because our normal adult monotone voices don't give the baby inflection so they don't really know how mom is feeling if they talk to them like a normal adult. ALSO, because we are naturally inclined to respond emotionally to music (which I'm sure knowing you he will be musical!) the sing songy voice helps the baby respond emotionally to it! There is A LOT more research about parentese and how to correctly talk to your baby to help their language develop faster and easier, but I won't bore you more here...but if you DO want to learn more about it, let me know! HAHA