PipSqeak got her hearing aid right after her cleft palate surgery. So before that, she couldn’t hear, and there were a lot of sounds she couldn’t make. “Ma-ma” was her universal word for everything. We had to count the number of syllables to guess what she was sayings. For example: Ma-ma-ma = banana.
Now she can hear and talk, so she is saying a lot more. It reminds me of a 1 year old who says “ba-ba” for bottle, ball, banana, and anything else which starts with the letter “B”. Except it’s more complex than that, because PipSqueak is 2 years old, so she says lots of words, and each word has at least 3 meanings.
This morning, she was pointing at the fridge, yelling “gah-gah!” Honey, Dada is not in the fridge, he’s in his office working. “Gah-Gah!” No, you can’t have chocolate for breakfast. Oh, you want katchup on your sausage.
I forgot that “gah-gah” means Dada, chocolate and ketchup. Those three words do sound slightly different, but they kind of all sound the same. So I began writing PipSqueak’s dictionary, to help me remember which is which, and notice how each word does sound sightly different.
Ga-ga = Dada
Ca-ca = chocolate
Ca-cup = ketchup
Key-key = stinky (diaper)
Chee = cheese
Ghee = sausage (minus the “saus” so she’s saying just “age”)
Ah-yah = Aria
Ah-po = up, apple, applesauce, or orange
Ah-po wee-wee = applesauce squeezy
Wee = TV
Bee = treat
Woa-wee = Chloe
Ow-wee = ouch, help me, or pigtails (help me restrain my hair, but it’s ouchy)
Ow-guy = outside
I’m a gu = I’m all done / It’s all gone
Hi a gu = here you go
Dah-gu = thank you
Oh = nose, toes, or Olivia
Bay-bee = baby
bee-boo, bee-boo = poopoo diaper
Buh-bur = sun butter
Bol = Ball
buh = Blocks
Buy = bath
Buy-buy = vitimin
Pie-pie = potty
Pay-er = (toilet) paper
Puh-pel = puzzle
Nigh-nigh = night night
Nigh-nit = blanket
Mo-er = more
Moo = moose
Wah-dloo = water, but that could mean one of many things:
1) I’m thirsty and want a drink of water.
2) My hands are messy and need washed in water.
3) The table is messy and needs washed off.
4) I peed water in the floor and you need to clean up that puddle of water.
5) “Wah-dloo goo gob. Yay! (Clapping) ca-ca bee?” = I peed water on the potty. Good job! Can I have chocolate treat?
Oh-neyo = oatmeal.
You see the problem with that? I ask, “do you want oatmeal?” and she responds, “oh-no.” Which sounds the like the opposite of what she is actually trying to say, “yes, I do want oatmeal.” Fortunately when she means to say, “no” she says a very firm “NYO!”
Sign and Say
This is where the beauty of sign language comes in. We are trying to learn how to sign important (food) words, so I can figure out which word she is actually trying to say. The problem is, our sign langue is the equivalent of mumbling. One “sign” has multiple meanings. Clapping her hands could be any sign which involves bringing both hands together in front of your body – more, cheese, paper, or maybe she is just clapping and cheering for herself.
Touching her mouth could mean water, food, Mama, orange or maybe just mouth.
Touching her forehead could mean Dada, moose, fix my pig-tails or I want my hearing aid on.
As long as we say and sign, so we can all clearly hear and understand what each other is saying, or at least narrow our guesses down to a couple options.