Do you want some little milky? Do you want it in a bot bot? Jibber jabber goo goo! are just some of the phrases I am very comfortable using when addressing Ernest. In fact I positively enjoy and embrace this baby speak, and I am convinced that we all do. We all raise the pitch and tone of our voice and then blurt out any variable of vowels and nouns when we see a baby. Why is this? Are we doing it to make the child feel safe and secure? Are we gurgle gooing at them in order to educate them? No, It is because it’s easy, it just happens, the words and sounds arrive effortlessly into our brains, and are then dispensed out of our mouths in nano seconds without even thinking about it. We spend so much of our adult lives trying to express what we do, say, and feel in highly articulate ways that we are constantly looking out for opportunities to sound like Stephen Fry reviewing Shakespeare. This is indeed incredibly tiresome, and when you realise that other people are doing it around you, it is incredibly irritating! Whole dinner conversations involving two or more couples can start with somebody saying “It was hot today eh?” then hours later after that simple statement has been regurgitated around the table, it would end up as something like “yah, centralised pressure from the Iberian front has created an increasingly intense thermal environment!” oh do shut up! Please!?
With babies, and small children, you do not have this pressure. You can quite simply slip into fool mode without fear of any intellectual reprisal. Also, it is fantastically enjoyable. The smiles and outright belly laughing that goes on between you and your child far exceeds any snigger that you may muster at your favourite TV comedy. Please, however, do not think that this kind of tomfoolery works on all levels of life. I just get this feeling that if you went into a review meeting with your boss, squeezed his cheek and said “who’s my little chubster then?” you would indeed find it hilarious, but the boss? Hmmm……..I wonder?