Look who is talking …. but not to me

 You know when your kids were born and you are so excited and can’t wait for them to eat solids, walk, talk and so on?  I tend to be one of those moms (or the only mom) who is quite happy to let them get there a bit later, or when they are ready.  I do not encourage them wildly to do it sooner, I am quite happy if they get there when they get there …. and even if it is later that is fine as well.

With Connor when he started talking he just did not stop.  Fast forward 9 years and change, and we are still trying to silence the constrant stream of babble from Connor. 

His eyes open, his mouth opens and that pretty much describes the rest of the day until his eyes finally close.

With Georgia I figured, she would talk when she is good and ready.   And I think there is some benefit in a bit of quiet in the house.

I did not exactly restrain her from talking, but at the same time I did not stand there and encourage her wildly with funny faces and waving arms going coo-coo-ca-chooo. 

I figured she would talk when she was good and ready….and it just might buy us a little time of less talky-talky in our house, as our cup he was runneth over in that department.

The problem, is that Georgia just decided not to talk ….. at all.

The reason (in my opinion) was that she had Connor, who took it upon himself to talk for her.  Connor was acting as the translator, much like those guys at the UN, but with a nappy and mucus on their top lip (actually now that I say it out loud maybe a lot like the guys at the UN after all).

Connor would walk around next to Georgia and when Georgia wanted to say something, Connor would tell us what he thinks Georgia wants to say, without actually giving her the opportunity to either open her mouth or finish her sentence.

The girl clearly got tired of being interrupted and just thought “sod it, I am actually just going to drink my bottle, let this bloke talk for me!” and she just said nothing for the next few years.

She is 5 ½ now, and nearly every day you will hear me say “Connor, let your sister speak for herself!” because he is still talking on her behalf.  Or acting as an interpreter for me.  Georgia says something, then Connor leans over and goes “Mom, Georgia said xyz…..” though we are both sitting equidistant from Georgia, so the sound waves are travelling at the same speed for both of us.

I know it should be endearing, but is actually like seriously annoying.

We are still struggling with Georgia’s speech.  She talks.  She actually never stops talking.  She chatters away constantly. Unfortunately we do not understand half of it.  However to be fair, I understand about 85% but strangers probably understand about 50% of it – as most of it is a babble, and her pronunciation is so bad that much of it gets missed.

You can be in a dead sleep, and you will hear this high-pitched girly voice talking about gawd-knows-what and as you are lifted out of your slumber, your eyes will open to reveal Georgia standing next to your bed…… usually with her face about 15cm from your nose talking to you ….. while you are still sleeping …… in the middle of the night …… while everyone in the house, except Georgia standing next to you …………… is still sleeping.

Georgia has been in speech therapy for about a year and still says “pweez” and “pway” and a host of other things that sometimes I look at her and think “what the hell are you saying!” and then hand her an apple, so she would just stop babbling, and hopefully if she is eating then she is not talking…… hopefully.

Isabelle has come along and she is just over 19 months and still does not speak.  Recently  she started saying “caaaa” but said “caaaa” for pretty much everything.

It was cute, but it has limited applications.  Very useful if you are in a parking lot or in, say, your garage and you point to your car, and she goes “caaaa” then it is a neat trick.  But after you have done that a few dozen times, it sort of loses it’s lustre.

Last night I get home from work and I am making her a bottle and she starts going “maaa-maaa” which if you say it at a certain pace and with the correct tone sounds exactly like mama!

I thought “Finally! Finally! Some recognition for all the work and the caesarean scar!”

I tried to look like it was not too much of a big deal.  You know, because I am too school for cool and all that.   I smiled and then grinned a bit more internally, and let the warmth of this moment wash over me.

Standing waiting for the balance of the 30 seconds to heat the bottle in the microwave and Pepe (our nanny) walks past and goes “good night” – I go “good night, thanks Pepe” and then Isabelle goes “maa-maa-maa” and starts walking towards her.

Once I got over the shock, I tried to choke back a tear.

Isabelle, not to be limited by my feelings of rejection, promptly turned around and started walking towards me again.

Hope I think, there is hope – she likes me, she really likes me.

But then she stopped half way to pick up her pink bike and carried it back to Pepe and said “maa-maa-maa” again, this time with a much higher pitch and much more urgency in her voice.

At this point even Pepe started to get embarrassed for me.  She tried to leave, but Isabelle is pulling on her skirt going “maa-maa-maa!”

Pepe is trying to correct her and goes “I am Pepe, there is mommy…” pointing to me standing rather feebly by the microwave with the warmed up bottle, wondering where it all went so wrong.

So that was my evening in heart ache and disappointment.  I decided to retreat to the tv room and watch entertainment TV and drink my glass of wine.  On a totally non related note, I am starting to find Joan Rivers hysterically funny – it might be the wine talking!

Leave a comment


  1. Toni D

     /  February 25, 2011

    Reminds me of a story my mom tells me now and then. When I started talking I called my neighbour (my day mother) “mommy” and I’d call my mom “mommy Davies”.

  2. Noah is two and is using hand gestures. He claps his hands to say “please” or “thank you”. So at Pick n Pay, upon seeing the sweet aisle, he will stop, point and double-clap at a chocolate bar. If I give it to him, he claps twice again to say thank you. After reading the above, I figure I should keep this up.

    • reluctantmom

       /  February 21, 2011

      Totally, that is a very neat trick!! However I think I do the same thing when I see the wine fridge …….

  3. scaredmom

     /  February 18, 2011



  4. Tania

     /  February 18, 2011

    When Ethan was just about 2 years old the teli was on a programme about orangatangs, the teli was at his eye and hug level… Ethan toddled to the teli and hugged it when a full screen shot of a huge big fat hairy orange orangatang appeared and he hugged the teli and said MOMMY !!! …say no more

  5. Aw chick! Take solace in the fact Pepe is doing such a great job!

    BUT since caaaa was used for everything maybe maamaa will to?

    Kiara is the talker in our family – she never ever stops – ever – like as in ever!

    • reluctantmom

       /  February 18, 2011

      I do find the constant babbling of my off-spring a bit exhausting, and sometimes I do actually say “I will pay you if you are quiet for 15/30 minutes/…” I do find that sometimes when I am exhausted and stressed (which often feels like all the time) the constant drone is a bit too much ….

    • Kiki

       /  February 18, 2011

      Laura my full name is Kiara – must be a Kiara thing!!!!

  6. Kiki

     /  February 18, 2011

    I was the child which had “verbal diaorreah” as my parents called it and I still have it and have to actually catch myself and say stop talking so much!!!!

    My little girl goes to creche and when I fetch her some afternoons she doesnt want to come home. she screams and throws herself on the floor and runs away in front of all the teachers and i have to feeble say your school is too good my child doesnt want to come home but deep inside i feel quite rejected!

  7. tolovebella

     /  February 18, 2011

    ‘similar’ thing happened to me when i got home yesterday. sylvia was holding bella and when i put my arms out to take her, she turned away. am pretty sure you could HEAR my heart rip apart….

    • reluctantmom

       /  February 18, 2011

      I heard Pepe this morning practicing with Isabelle so that Isabelle gets that she must call me mommy and Pepe must be Pepe! Made me feel good that Pepe realised I was probably a bit slaughtered by it – but then Isabelle came and climbed in the shower with me this morning clothes and all, and that made me feel a little bit better.

      • coachmarcia

         /  February 25, 2011

        Pepe is a star! I love that she’s emotionally in tune 🙂

        K used to do this with V, our nanny, too – not the mama thing but turning away from me when in V’s arms – I about died the first time but on the bright side, blog material, right? 🙂

        Marcia from http://the123blog.com

        • reluctantmom

           /  February 25, 2011

          Absolutely …… I need to sort of see the glass as half full, when clearly it is leaking all over the damn floor!


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