There’s something about babies that turns us all into babbling idiots. No matter how intelligent and well-spoken we are in normal life, we lose our power of intelligible speech when a little one is nearby. It’s all “num-num,” “boo-boo,” “ga-ga” and “wuzza-wuzza” until the kid is old enough to object. (You’re better off not asking me about the song I used to sing when my children soiled their diapers. Really.)
But Neil Patrick Harris is one of the rare exceptions to this rule. In fact, he makes a point of not going all – excuse the expression – babbly when he’s with his twins, Harper and Gideon.
“My parents always talked to my brother and myself like we were regular people and not babies, ” NPH tells People. “So I don’t talk down to them in baby talk. I try to talk to them even though they can’t speak the language yet.”
Sure, he’s missing the fun of being silly – which is part of the joy of being a parent – but if that approach helped produce such a talented actor, more power to him.
Harris recently talked about another communication technique he and David Burtka use on their 15-month-olds.
On The Talk last month, he explained that they’re teaching Gideon and Harper some simple sign-language signs to help express their basic needs until they can say the words themselves. For instance, they can sign “more” and “done” – useful signs for mealtimes.
However, there’s one sign they haven’t bothered to teach the kids: “dirty diaper.” Harris laughed, “I don’t know that you need a sign for that. You pretty much know right away. That reveals itself.”
What do you think? Should parents talk to babies in grownup-speak? And did you teach your baby sign language?
[Photo: via Pacific Coast News]
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