Raising A Chatterbox
Does anybody else’s child talk the hind legs off everybody you come across wherever you go? Shop assistants, checkout operators, waiting staff, next-door neighbours, other passengers on the Metro – nobody is safe from my son and his never-ending stream of verbal consciousness. Whatever’s in his brain comes tumbling immediately out of his mouth.
“Do you want to know how old/tall/clever I am?” – because he’s going to tell you anyway.
“Guess what……” – you’ll never actually guess, as it’s an excited four year old’s ten minute ramble about how one of the cats jumped onto the top of our bookcase six months ago.
“We need to buy a new bathmat as the old one is a bit manky” – as genuinely said to the amused woman on the till as I vainly attempted to buy some bathroom essentials a couple of weeks ago without someone giving everyone the impression I never clean anything.
Whilst it does take three times as long to get anything done while we wait for him to tell us his vitally important story of what happened at nursery this week when so-and-so did something and so-and-so else did the other and he helped put all the spoons out at breakfast and then tried some orange at teatime but didn’t like the skin so he only ate the apple, it is rather endearing.
Having attended nursery since he turned one, Little Man has always been a ‘people person’. He’s been used to the company of other children (and adults) without mummy and daddy being around, and has developed such a social confidence that as his vocabulary has grown, he simply can’t be stopped. He is not a shy child. I’m just waiting for his first school report come September, inevitably involving the word ‘chatterbox’.
We’ve also now reached the point where he wants to know what more words mean, and we find that he parrots back phrases like a broken tape recorder – so much so that we have to be more careful than ever what we say in his earshot or let him see on the TV. After hearing on the radio news in the car the other day about some medical research story, he brightly asked “What’s a study using mice?” I’m not sure when children should learn about animal experimentation, but I certainly sugar-coated the answer to that question.
I’m back to waiting on tenterhooks for the next time he drops me in it for not Hoovering the car.