Talking to parents of toddlers can be strange. I possess enough self-awareness to know this.
Caedmon is starting to talk. I have no idea how many words he can currently say; I have found that things like constant knowledge of how many words your baby can pronounce vanishes after child #1. Suffice to say it's probably more than ten but definitely less than 100.
I do realize that although Derek and I can correctly interpret most of Caedmon's current words, to any random passerby it will merely sound like baby jibberish. That doesn't stop me from urging command performances from the littlest Crisler.
Sometimes when I'm holding Caedmon in a public setting, someone will approach, we'll chit chat, and at some point, they'll ask if he has started talking. I respond in the affirmative, then turn to Caedmon.
"Caedmon, can you say, 'Hi'?"
"Can you say, 'Bye-bye'?"
As you can see, I'm careful to start with easily recognizable words- which is also where I should stop.
"Can you say, 'Love you'?"
"Can you say, 'Adelaide'?"
"Good job, Caedmon!" I coo.
Meanwhile, the person who began by asking a rather innocent question has been nodding along gamely, probably trying to figure out how to politely extract themselves from this conversation gone wrong.
Don't worry, I understand.
Fortunately, Caedmon and I don't have to rely solely on verbal communication. He's always been good at giving me plenty of non-verbal cues, but has recently taken this to a new level.
Much of his communication, verbal and otherwise, concerns food, because holy cow, does that kid love to eat. Around five o'clock, with supper approaching, I can usually be found in the kitchen, food preparation underway. On the nights when I decide I just don't really feel like cooking, however, I'll be in some other part of the house, usually playing with the kiddos.
Caedmon is not okay with this.
One night last week, when I was absent from the kitchen, I heard Caedmon rummaging around in the kitchen cabinets. Nothing new there.
What was new was Caedmon walking into the front room a few moments later, holding a big frying pan, and plaintively saying to me, "Bupper?"
Bupper is Caedmon-speak for 'supper.'
Yesterday, he must have been in the mood for something a little sweeter, because this time I found him walking around the house looking for me, dragging the waffle iron by it's cord and again begging for "Bupper? Bupper?"
Poor, deprived Caedmon. It had been at least thirty minutes since he had eaten last, and there I was, outside of my rightful place in the kitchen.
I'm beginning to think my days of 'I don't think I'll cook tonight' are drawing to a close.