For the past month or so, I’ve been working on getting Cullen to clap. I clap and clap and clap, and hope that eventually he claps back. It’s a game of sorts. It started as me just clapping foolishly, with him just grinning for being praised so often.
Eventually, he started mimicking me. He’d clap with glee once I started to clap, and he loved the cheers he’d get for successfully clapping in return. And then last week, I thought I’d see if perhaps he’d learned the words beyond the gesture. I asked him to clap, and was shocked when he started smacking his hands together without my prompt. Sure enough, he understands me.
I have read that babies are learning and processing words long before they actually speak them. And so it makes sense that he has learned some of the things I repeat most. It has made me very aware that now is the time to quit swearing completely (embarrassing, but necessary) and reconsider the rap music I jam to in the car. Goodbye Jay Z, hello Sid the Science Kid.
I wonder what other words and actions he has picked up on. I’m working on high five, hello, and bye bye, but none of those seem to be sticking just yet. As with all things baby, I think I need to just stick with it and continue repetition until he indulges me with a wave or similar gesture. One thing is for sure, this little baby is become more and more of a little boy every day. I can’t believe we’re having interactive conversations of sorts.
I’m sure soon enough I’ll wish for the day when he just stared at me like a lump, rather than tugging on my leg and asking 40 questions in a row. But for now, I’m just enjoying watching him transform into a little person. It’s all happening just a little bit too quickly for me.
Read more from Emily on her personal blog Daily Garnish, where she creates healthy vegetarian recipes, recaps her latest running adventures, and chronicles life as a new mom to her son and two crazy dogs. You can follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too!