Posted by: Jamie Stamm | July 18, 2008

Using his words

Before I was a mom, I hated – HATED – when I heard parents telling their kids to “use your words.”

“What a stupid phrase,” I used to think. And I really disliked the mostly-condescending way in which it was used.

Then I had two children of my own. And now I completely understand.

I don’t remember Cera going through a stage like Anthony’s been in recently, where he’ll point to something and grunt or squeal as my husband and I try to figure out exactly what it is that he wants. Or he’ll speak complete nonsense – and then crack up at himself.

It’s not that Anthony doesn’t know which words to use – because this kid can talk. Lord, can he talk. (He has to in order to keep up with – and be heard over – his older sister.) And he’s been talking for quite some time now.

So when he regressed to this pointing-grunting-squealing stage, I felt myself biting my tongue. Because I wanted to say, “Use your words,” so badly. I wanted to scream it if I had to.

For the most part, I’ve been able to restrain myself – although I admit that the dreaded phrase has slipped from my lips a few times in moments of extreme frustration.

I guess there are worse things I could say.

Anyway, Anthony has really started to express his feelings over the past few days. Of course, it’s not always things we want to hear, like, “Stop talking to me,” “You’re not nice” and “You guys are being mean.” (I love that he says “you guys” – it reminds me of my Pennsylvania roots. And by the way, we weren’t really being mean.)

But, hey, at least he’s using his words.

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