The Toddler hardly talked at all until he turned two. I thought he was going to grow up to be practically mute like me. We got through those early years through a combination of wild gesticulations and some sort of Toddler Morse Code of Screaming. Basically, a painful process of elimination.
But, within just a few months, his vocabulary mushroomed and he started forming whole sentences. My mind still can’t seem to wrap itself around this concept of him speaking. I hate to say it, but I think I may have accidentally gotten in the habit of ignoring him. Not the best way to win hearts and minds, I’ll admit. When I finally snap back to the program, my translations are terrible. A 25% success rate would be generous. How is it that I was a language major, exactly?
We were at the grocery store the other day, heading from produce at one end of the store to dairy on the other, when he launches into this long monologue that I can’t understand a word of. Then, he demands that I repeat it back to him, verbatim. My response, of course, isn’t right. Not even close, which causes him to start shrieking his incomprehensible syllables…much…slower…this…time, yet at an ear-splitting pitch. That is, until a stranger rushes up to me, “He says he wants to go see the lobsters. Lobsters are red. Lobsters can swim. You idiot.”
Ever get the feeling that half of the world’s frustration is caused by the feeling that nobody understands you?