I Don’t Understand

Bowling coaching at 6:30.  You need to get that arm straighter, son.

Bowling coaching at 6:30. You need to get that arm straighter, son.

Thomas is now fast approaching 20 months and I have already reached the stage when I don’t understand him.  Thankfully, this isn’t because of some weird musical tastes or some new attitude to life (these are pleasure I am still looking forward to). At the moment the problem is that I literally do not understand a lot of the words he says.

One favourite word at the moment is be be.  He will just sit in the middle of his bedroom floor and point at one of the shelves and say be be.  I get up and point to stuffed animal of some sort and he smiles.  I pick it up and give it to him and for 3 seconds he looks at it quite content, then shakes his head drops it on the floor and points back at the shelf and again says be be.  So I get a different stuffed toy, or a book, or some random object that is somewhere in the vicinity of where he is pointing.  And always the same response; smile and three seconds later start all over again.

Perhaps be be means get all of the stuff off the shelf and put it on the floor daddy!

At least with be be he doesn’t get too upset if I don’t deliver the right thing on demand.  He has another phrase, which is something like po po that he only ever seems to use with me at 6:30 in the morning when he has decided that it is time to get up.  He’ll use this one in the living room and I usually start by assuming he is talking about a chicken because this is the sound a chicken makes in Portuguese.  It isn’t what he mans, though.  It could be the door because he says por for door (a sort of mix of the Portuguese word porta and the English word ‘door’, I think).  But again, this isn’t what he wants.  But after two attempts he is getting quite frustrated and looking around frantically for whatever it is he wants.

I offer him Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, a succession of cars, a soft ball, a cricket ball, but all to no avail.  As the tears get closer I have to try to buy him off with a drink, a biscuit or a game of hide and seek.  This last one has been working recently, even though he is crap at the game and hides in the middle of the room, or under a blanket and squeals with delight as I walk past him shouting out his name.

And all of this at half six in the morning!

And there are plenty of other words that he uses that neither I nor mamãe have any idea abut what they mean.

It’s quite cool though.  It is obvious, to me at least, that he is developing his vocabulary.  He seems to know what his words mean and he is trying to communicate this to the rest of the world.  The only problem being that the rest of the world doesn’t speak the same language.  Watching this process is fascinating as he struggles to communicate and learns at the same time.

He’ll soon figure out what the rest of the world does understand and then I am sure the problems will really start.


4 thoughts on “I Don’t Understand

  1. Nice explanation of what we are also suffering… But wi Julia is “do do” at she jumps from wherever she is at … Usually the couch , but also can mean that she will throw something … We never know! Rsrrsrs

    • Hi Gerri,

      When I take him up to the shelf he just looks at everything with a very knowing look on his face and then wants to get down. I know he is just having me on, but I indulge him.


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