The Gift Of Silence

Leyna is babbling like it’s her job lately. And not just “ba ga mama googoo” stuff. She’s watching us talk, studying the way our mouths move, sticking her tongue out and clicking her teeth, trying to mimic us. Her new favorite thing is to pick up her play phone (okay, no, actually she’d rather play with my iPhone) and say “Hahhhh!” (that’s Hi! with a Texas accent she was, apparently, born with).

Kendall was never this vocal at this age. Heck, he didn’t start trying to talk this much until sometime in the last year. I have a feeling once Leyna figures out how to say what she wants, she’s never going to stop… like this girl (one of my fav. YouTube videos of all time):

(And please, let’s not turn this into an extended-rear-facing convo! The baby is cute… focus on the cute.. ignore the car seat. Moving on.)

If Leyna’s anything like me, which she’s proving to be more and more every day, she’ll be lecturing all of us in no time, and putting on performances from atop our ottoman. I don’t think I ever shut up once I learned how to talk.

Edited to add! This! My dad just sent this fantastic picture of me delivering my first lecture to a sold-out crowd of captive relatives. The last line of his email said, ” yeah, you never shut up from around this time forward.”

Except this one time. 

I laugh so hard thinking about this now. My mom took my sister, brother and I to East Texas to visit her family one year for Thanksgiving while I was in high school. I don’t recall why this was so tragic to me at the time, but I’m sure it had something to do with me having a boyfriend who I couldn’t bear to be apart from for more than 8 hours, let alone not be able to talk to for an entire weekend.

Gah. To grow up in the age of no cell phones for kids and not being able to ask distant relatives if you could rack up their long distance bill so that you could call and say, “Whacha doin? Nothing. Miss you. You too,” over and over to the guy you thought you’d die without. Dramatic much? It was a rough life.

Anyway, I was so epically pissed off at my mom for making me go on this trip that I decided I wouldn’t speak to her THE WHOLE TRIP. I answered questions directed at me with one word answers. I kept my nose in magazines and books.

I would SHOW her.

She didn’t seem bothered by my silence at all. Which puzzled me back then, and I thought surely she was just playing a game with me. It must have killed her that I didn’t converse with her during the long drives or join in her adult conversations. She just didn’t want me to know that, I figured.

Ha! No, I’m pretty sure that was the most glorious trip with a teenager she could have ever hoped for, and she was probably happy for the gift of silence. Well played, mom. Well played.

Leyna is one year old, and I’m pretty sure she just tried to tell me off in baby language. She also seems to be working on perfecting her B face.

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  1. Oh you just made me laugh so hard, and while I was laughing I could almost hear my mom saying to a teenage me ” YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A DAUGHTER JUST LIKE YOU SOMEDAY” apparently I am on my way to having a granddaughter a little like me too.

  2. i swear that video could easily be my daughter. everytime she goes off on a babbling spree like that or we find her swimming in my shoes, my husband says…”man, you guys really are just born this way, huh?” 🙂

  3. She is adorable, we didn’t really have a babbling phase with either of mine, or at least not one I can remember. My son started talking at 6 months (apple – loved his apple juice) and did start to be quiet till he was about 13. Now at 16 he’s still pretty quiet, unless he’s ordering his 6 year old sister around. I think he was about 15 months old sitting in his rocker and I was interviewing him on what all the animals said and about his friends in daycare (back then is was So’hlia who was his favorite). Now my daughter she was the non-verbal one. We started signing with her at about 9 months and continued with that till about 15 months before she really took off. With both of my kids once they started they were off and running. My daughter did go non-verbal from time to time, in situations that were new, when she was scared or when she was in trouble or even just thought she did something wrong. Thankfully over the past year that has only happened once or twice, its very frustrating- especially when you make a choice for her and its the wrong one major tantrum time.

  4. Is she like you temperament-wise? My daughter is ALL my husband – looks, temperament, personality, everything.

    She talked early and often. She babbled and cooed, and had many words before 1. Now, at 3.5, she has her bursts now and then, like on the car ride home from preschool, but she does not have my gift for gab. Her introvert qualities have triumphed over her talking skills.

    • Yeah, I think she’s got my temperament. Though, I would say Scott and I are similar in a lot of ways, too, so it’s hard to tell. I mean, we’re basically destined to have strong-willed, hot-headed children.

  5. 1. That video is adorable. When does the baby breathe?
    2. I know where your kids get their rolls. (Said with love)
    3. Your mom cracks me up. Both in the story and in her comment.
    4. My daughter is a few months older than Leyna, and she NEVER shuts up. EVER. Good thing she’s cute.

    • Oh yes, my husband and I both were rolly polly fattie fatties when we were babies! There’s never been any doubt that all that baby chub is strongly genetic.

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