Nov 17, 2010

'What I heard you say was ..."

For about the last year, as Jake has been learning to talk, he's been prompting anyone and everyone he speaks with to confirm in some way that they understand what he just said. My sister compared it to seeing a marriage counselor and responding, "What I heard you say was ..."

See, he figured out really early on that sometimes (read: OFTEN) we didn't know exactly what he was saying, but we wanted to encourage him to keep speaking, so we'd nod or say "Yes" or "I don't know" in response to whatever we THOUGHT we'd heard. We hit it about 50 percent of the time. The other 50 percent of the time, he'd get angry that we'd acted as though we understood him, when in fact we had not.

So he wised up and he started repeating, word for word, every sentence he uttered, until we responded with a complete sentence or action indicating total understanding. Instead of annoying me, I actually found it really funny and resourceful. For example:

UNACCEPTABLE

Jake: "I hun-gee. Ah we goan-uh eat soon?"

Me: "Yes."


ACCEPTABLE

Jake: "I poopy. I need keen dy-pee."

Me: "You're poopy? You need a clean diaper? Okay, buddy, let's go change your diaper."


Perhaps I've not been as diligent about that method as I ought to have been lately, because he called me on it last Saturday night at a Mexican restaurant.

Jake: "Where's the trash can?"

Me: "Here; give me the wipe."  [I place it on the pile of ketchup packets and used napkins on the other side of the table.]

Jake: [eyebrows raised]  "WHAT I SAID."

Me: "Are you asking me if I know what you said?"

Jake: "Yes."

Me: [sputtering]  "You, um, asked me if I know where the trash can is. But there isn't one nearby."

Jake: [grudgingly satisfied, nods]  "YES."

4 comments:

Sarah T. said...

He's so stinkin' cute!

paige said...

I'm going to use this with the Britons surrounding me. And some Americans. And a few Indian people. Thanks Jakey!

Nikki said...

that's great!

RLR said...

That's one smart boy!

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