Language Barriers Can Be Tricky

Have you ever been in a situation where you just can’t make yourself understood? I have those every now and then with my husband. He speaks ManMan and I don’t. I like to think I speak English, but actually I speak Femalese. I happen to know that I am not alone in this. How many of you find yourselves speaking what seems to be English only to have the person you are speaking to staring back at you as though you were an alien from another planet speaking some language of clicks and clucks? Even after over 30 years of marriage, we have those episodes of language barriers.


I experience a bit more of that with my little charges each week. I know that they understand “No” or “Stop” or “Hush” but sometimes I get that blank stare right before they go right ahead as though they have no idea what I just said. They are playing me–and we all know it.

Last week it was the high pitched shrieking…you know, the sound that just about ruptures your eardrums? Bam Bam has perfected it…over and over and over again. I sent him home with homework–learn how not to shriek. I am afraid he will be like most students and show up to my “classroom” on Monday morning with an excuse like…”My dog ate my homework” and that means Bam Bam will probably be barking, growling AND shrieking on Monday.

I am almost afraid to see what awesome new things Australia learned while she was on vacation with her big brother last week. She is one of those little girls who just looks at you when you tell her “No” or redirect her. That blank stare is all an act. She knows EXACTLY what I am saying, fully understands…but boy, she is awesome at that blank look. Whatever could I be saying? What language am I speaking? Oh…were you talking? To ME? Surely you were speaking to the walls.

Roman has been a special case…at only 9 months of age he manages to yell at me with this guttural noise that is saved for when I don’t jump fast enough to give him what he wants. I have never had a baby “Yell” at me like that–it is truly beyond his years that he can so effectively communicate with no need for words. That little boy…all smiles and big blue eyes…it is all a brilliant cover for what lies beneath.

Each day brings its own lessons learned (or at least attempted) for me…I believe I am the one actually doing the learning not them…I just wish I was a faster learner. These language variations are a little bit of a challenge and my poor brain isn’t as young as it used to be, so…any chance they will cut me a little slack? Yeah, I didn’t think so–I won’t be holding my breath, either.


2 thoughts on “Language Barriers Can Be Tricky

  1. How sweet/sinful–this post made me laugh! I just finished babysitting two 2-year-old girls and a 9-month-old–and each of them loves to ignore and boss me and the others. It’s quite hysterical how serious they are! I love hearing about how other babies/toddlers communicate. Sometimes they melt your heart with their love for obedience, and other times…well, good thing they’re cute.

    • that is the truth, isn’t it? they actually take themselves so seriously and that just adds to the humor…and yes, it is a good thing they are cute, and quite lovable!

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