A Love Letter On Talking
"Why is it called a forehead? Because I'm 4 and because it's on my head?"
"What would you do if you didn't have me, mommy? You'd forget everything!"
"When will I die?"
"How do you spell Diego?"
"Why is our house so small?"
"Will you tell again about when I was a baby?"
"Why not am I the boss of me?!"
The steady stream of chatter and questions and demands and jokes in our house is bottomless. Its depth knows no boundaries. She wakes up talking and she talks herself to sleep. Sometimes she's asking, sometimes she's just making a joke, sometimes she's talking and she doesn't even realize it - singing, making up words, screeching, whining, giggling, bossing, wheedling and blowing raspberries. Her mouth is in non-stop motion.
She talks so much that her lips hurt. They get dry, so she licks them, and she has a habit of fiddling with them when she's working out what to say next. I've had to start buying her the expensive "lip therapy" salve, because the $1.99 princess stuff from the drugstore doesn't stand up to the job. Her mouth is no joke. It's the real deal.
She said her first word when she was 7 months old. "Ball." We were at the playground, and she was watching a group of Nigerian men play a game of pick-up soccer. "Ball," she said in their general direction. It wasn't until we got home and I called F. and my dad, that I wondered if a first word at 7 months might be considered a sign of things to come. Indeed, it was.
Her brand new laptop!
She is a prolific storyteller, a fairly decent liar, and a fantastic singer. She has an ear for details, and can mimic accents with astonishing accuracy. She memorizes passages from her favorite books and movies and recites them to everyone, or no one. She teaches her little sister how to use words like "actually" and "poop head" for everyone's pain and amusement. She makes up words and tells us she's speaking Japanese or Spanish.
Got a chatterbox at home? How do you deal?
For better, or for worse, she brings the house alive. Her cartoon-like voice is the first and last thing we hear each day. It sounds like the sun. But I would be lying if I said I didn't wish for a little rain now and then.