Baby talk is cheap
Who's a goo-goo baba, then? Carrie Linder goes gaga.
When I found out I was pregnant, I made a pact with myself. It didn’t involved getting my figure back in record time; nor was it about resting enough during my pregnancy. No, I vowed that I would never, ever become one of those dithering mothers who spoke the goo-goo ga-ga language known as baby talk.
Well, that was all before I gave birth. On arrival, our little babe didn’t seem to mind how we spoke to him because he was asleep for most of the time anyway. But at about a week old, he woke up. And it seems he hasn’t gone back to sleep since.
So with my baby talk vow in mind, I tried to negotiate with him, ‘My darling child, it would be much, much more beneficial for both you and I if you stopped screaming and went to sleep now. I would be a better mother and surely you’d be a happier child.’ Nothing. In fact he looked at me utterly confused and opened his mouth to scream even louder.
After a few days I realised that he clearly wasn’t understanding me, let alone responding. So I set adult negotiation aside and tried music. Now I might not have been one of those moms who was teaching their baby long division while still in the womb, but I was absolutely diligent about playing baby all the classics while he was still inside (a lot of Matchbox20, plenty of Cold Play and of course, a bit of Collective Soul…) but for some reason he is only interested in crass nursery rhymes sung by irritating high pitched 6-year-olds (or even more worrying, I think they’re sung by adults who sound like irritating high-pitched 6-year-olds).
When I catch myself singing ‘I’m a little tea pot’ under my breath in the queue at the post office I take a break from the CDs. But all that leaves me with is talking to him. And before I know it, it’s happening. “Ooooo coo coo coooo who’s a good boy? Shooo shoo my baby! Close your little eyes!” All in a pitch so high I’d easily get a place in the chorus line on one of those nasty children's CDs.
But somehow he loves it! And I wish I could say my baby talk has earned me a full night’s sleep (not the case) but every now and then, it earns me two hours sleep in a row. And for that, I am most willing to set aside my pride. Is baby talk inevitable? Or is Carrie coo-coo cuckoo?Read more by Carrie Linder