Henry is caught in a stage where he has a LOT of things to say, but sometimes it's still hard to understand him. He's really a pretty good talker, but he is only two, so naturally a lot of words sound similar, sometimes words get smushed together, and he leaves out or reverses syllables in longer words. Examples: snack, smack and stuck- all sound preeeetty much the same. Go outside is pronounced goside. And, my current favorite; vegeTAbles are referred to as vegBAtles in our house.
This is mostly entertaining, (and good blog fodder. Beew, anyone?) but it's sometimes really frustrating for him when he's trying to tell me something and I can't understand him. Often, if I'm not sure what he's saying, he can show me, or I can ask him questions and figure it out. But, occasionally, we truly come to a crossroads.
Hilarious Case In Point:
A few days ago, I was trying to set up everything we needed for the kids to do a craft at the dining room table. This is a task that would take a normal person about 60 seconds, but in my particular situation of being CONSTANTLY INTERRUPTED it took about 5 minutes.
Do you know how long 5 minutes feels to a two-year old who REALLY REALLY REALLY LOVES GLUE STICKS AND FINGERPAINT AND MARKERS, OH THE GLEE, OH THE EVERLOVING JOY OF IT ALL? Apparently, it feels like eternity. And, to be more specific, he acts as if it feels like waiting for eternity AND having his toenails pulled out while he waits.
Anyway, I'm trying to set things up, and Henry is whining, and trying to climb up in a chair and TOUCH STUFF, and basically is driving me bonkers. So, I pick him up, put him on the floor, position myself 2 inches from his face, and say in The Voice, "Look at my eyes. Listen to my voice. You have to wait. You have to calm down. You have to practice being patient. Do not climb up here again until I say so, or you WILL NOT get to do a craft with the rest of us. Say, 'Okay, Mommy' so I will know that you understand."
A halfhearted 'Okay, Mama,' mild whinycrying, and he then proceeds to stand rightnexttome while I try to finish, occasionally whimpering and shooting me pitiful little glances, but clearly he has gotten the overall message that I AM NOT KIDDING AROUND.
Then he says, in a very sweet voice, "Mama, paytas."
"What?" I say.
"Paytas." he repeats.
"No, Mama, PayTAAAAS."
"No, Hendy PAYTAS.
"Ummm, I don't know, can you show me?"
"No, HENDY PAYTAS."
Silence. Blank stare. Inner dialogue running through all the words that start with P. Coming up empty...
"Hendy PATAS. HENDY PAYTAS!" His voice is now rising, I can see his little fists balling up in frustration.
"I'm sorry bud, I don't understand. Hey, I'm almost finished getting ready!" I say in an overly perky voice, CLEARLY trying to avoid a meltdown.
"HENDY PAYTAAAAAAAAS" he screams. "MAMA, I PAYTAAAAAAS" He's now stamping his foot with each failed attempt to communicate.
"Henry, buddy, I'm really sorry," I say, feeling the mommyguilt flood in, "I'm not sure what you mean, but I can tell..."
He interrupts my placating in one last ditch attempt to communicate. Hands fisted, tears starting, foot stomping, every muscle in his baby mouth trying to force his tongue to pronounce the syllables, he yells, "HENDY BE PAAAAAAYYYTAAAAANNNS."
"OH!" I shout. "Patient! Henry is being patient! Patient???"
"UUUU HUH! Paytas!" he says, so clearly releived that his idiot mother finally understands him.
"YES!" I yell. "You are being so patient! I mean... you were. Well, you were trying..." Aaaaaand, I now burst into laughter, as I recognize the hilarity and irony of my toddler freaking out, stamping his feet, and repeatedly shrieking 'patient' at me.
YOU GUYS, HE IS SO PATIENT! I MEAN, PAYTAS!
Oh, Motherhood. Alanis Morrisette REALLY should have included you in her song.