Hi! Hi! Hi!

Before becoming a parent, everyone has a couple of things they are certain they’ll never do with their children.  Often these revolve around bedtimes, eating habits, and certain forms of discipline.


For me, the items in question focused on how I wanted to speak with my baby.  I was determined not to speak in the third person and call myself “Mommy” all the time, nor would I speak in “baby,” i.e. gibberish, rather than full “adult” sentences.


How quickly my resolutions have faded.


Thankfully, I am still (mostly) capable of turning on my adult voice when I need it, but I definitely have a “mom” voice reserved for the little one.  This voice is as much a singing voice as it is a speaking voice, as my daily life now resembles a family-friendly musical.


As natural as it is to sing my way through the day, I’ve also realized it’s somewhat unnatural to use “I” with a baby.   Because I spend all my time with a three-month-old, and since he needs to learn just about everything about the world and the way it works, as parents we need to shift how we do things in order to accommodate his perspective. And it’s amazing how naturally and easily we do this.  While I don’t use the third person all the time, and more often than not I refer to myself as “your Mommy” rather than just “Mommy”, my manner toward him is totally different than my behavior toward an adult, and rightfully so.


I’ve also noticed that I—and anyone else who talks to Jacob—spend the majority of the conversation saying “Hi!” over and over and over again, mostly in those high-pitched, exaggerated tones people involuntarily use for babies and puppies.  Parenting books say that this is both entirely natural and helpful for the little dude’s language development.


I wonder, though, if they only say it’s helpful because as parents, we can’t help it.  Kind of like that rain on your wedding day is good luck thing.  Where does the good luck come from there? Or is it an attempt at some sort of consolation when it does, indeed, rain on someone’s wedding day?


There’s something strange about saying “Hi” eighty times a day to a person who already spends just about all his time with me.  But it’s the same way we learn foreign languages in school.  First we learn greetings, then the alphabet, then colors, etc. It’s amazing to watch it all unfold, and as adorable as his (increasingly loud) sounds are now, I can’t wait for the day when my “hi! hi! hi!” is answered with a “Hi, Mom!” from the Peanut’s precious little voice.  I have so much more to share with him, and I know he will have tons to share with me, too.


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