Midnight trauma
Missed communication

Can I tell yoo somethin'?

Raphael is my most verbal child. I don’t remember EXACTLY, but I’m pretty sure that within moments of birth he started looking around and mused, “So this is the world huh? Bright. Listen, could I get some boob over here? Huh? What’s a baby gotta do?”

Ok, maybe he didn’t talk quite that soon. But he was born with a tendency to babble, enjoying the liquid syllables falling out of his mouth. Soon enough these sounds morphed into actual language. And since then, baby, there’s been no stopping him.

He comments on the weather, he catalogues the members of the family (animals included), he recounts moments of daring action that occurred in his day (real or imagined), he retells scenes from movies he particularly enjoys.

He. Never. Shuts. Up.

The other day we were in a coffee shop. There was a woman there with a tiny floppy newborn. Raphael studied him, all squishy faced in his car seat, for a moment, then turned to me and said,

“I remember when I was a baby. I was soooo tiny. And I didn’t have any powers. That baby is drinking from a bottle. I don’t have a bottle. Can I have a bottle?”

And so on.

Now, I’ve grown accustomed to the endless torrent of words. They wash over me, and I know as long as I’m nodding and mmm-hmmm-ing occasionally and (oh dear me no) NOT talking to someone else, he’s perfectly happy to prattle on. It’s like a conversation, except he gets to do all the talking, which suits him fine.

The problem arises when Raphi decides he will now talk, but he doesn’t have anything to say.

“MAMA.” We were having dinner, and Raphael placed one hand on my arm. “MAMA. MAMA. Can I tell yoo somethin’?”

I looked at him, stifling a heavy sigh. If he’s ASKING if he can tell me something, he’s not requesting permission, he’s actually wondering.

“Sure, honey. What is it?”

“Mama. Can I tell yoo somethin’?”

“Yes. Please do.”
”Mama.” He sighed and looked all around the room for something to talk about. The pause stretched out long enough that I started to turn back to the story Mom was telling. My lack of attention caused Raphi to grip my arm tightly and holler, “BUT MAMA! I was TELLIN’ yoo SOMETHIN’! MAMA!” I looked back.

“Yes. What?”

He returned to searching the room.

“Mama? Mama. Mama.”

At this point I went entirely insane.

I’m beginning to suspect that the correct answer to “Can I tell yoo somethin’?” may very well be, “NO, APPARENTLY NOT.”



That was one thing I was ill prepared for--the preschooler incessant monologue. And the question asking. Tonight DD left the room after a particular inquisitive episode and DH made a "makes me want to drink" gesture with his hand. I laughed and said, "I would, except a drink would make me fall asleep and you'd be up all night ALONE with the newborn." ;-)


That's my middle one, Haley. And when no one is in the room with her? Makes no difference, she keeps right on talking.


You've described my daughter, Elizabeth, perfectly.


Haydn was like that too and so is David. Now, at 3, people are amazed at how much Haydn talks. Tho, he has his own rules for how conversation proceeds, including that his comments must be repeated about 500 times before he is sure we heard them, even if we have already responded. *rolls eyes* David babbles like a little pentecostal.

Rachel Claret

sometimes I think you live at my house! Not so much the talker, but (my) middle child who "hafta tell you sumpting," but can't seem to connect with this time zone! Arrgh! - thanks for writing so truthfully about being a mom of three boys (I so live there!)


Yeah, I know the feeling. Except that she's now 14 and had a tendency to talk about all the bands and musicians she likes and is sooo upset when I don't know exactly what she's talking about when rhapsodizing about My Chemical Romance. The nods and uh-huhs don't work so well at this age.


Oh man, I feel your pain. All three of mine are jabber-boxes, but my son is the. worst. ever. EVER.

He's all about "Mama, can I ask you a question? The question is, Mama, wanna hear the question? Mama?" while I sit there slack-jawed and wait for him to get to the point.

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