Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Trouble With More

Maggie is trying so hard to communicate with us, bless her heart. And it is sort of adorable. But also frustrating. For both of us. And it is one of those distinct moments in childhood that makes me stop for a moment because I am suddenly flooded with memories from not-that-long ago, when Hannah was beginning to talk. And it makes me a teensy bit sad that I hadn't really thought about learning-to-talk Hannah in so long. And I don't ever want to lose those memories. {Like the way I had nearly forgotten about how any and all animal were a "puppy" to Hannah. This time around, it's "dog dog." This week, Maggie pointed at a hippo and triumphantly pronounced it a "dog dog" and I got weirdly sentimental.}

As with Hannah, we've tried to teach Maggie some basic signs (more, food, milk, all done, etc.). And as with Hannah, "more" is a favorite sign. While we were in Florida, she started saying "more" too. So now she can do things like say "more" while signing "food." "More" is kind of awesome. Except when it isn't.

First, there is the "ambiguous more." The one that comes out of no where. And some how feels ten times as urgent as the obvious "I'm-out-of-my-snack more." You want to positively reinforce the efforts to communicate so you just start throwing anything at request: food? milk? toys? parents? you want another mom? I'll find you a second mommy, just please, HELP ME OUT, more WHAT?

Then, there is the "impossible more." Like when you are at the park and see a dog (or hippo, you know, whatever). And Maggie wants more dog-dog. And she wants it now. And why can't I just make a dog magically appear?? WHY?!

And finally, there is the "look what I can do with my hands! This is totally meaningless! I want nothing but I'm gonna keep doing it just because I can! more." To which I also respond with frenetic offerings of random objects until she starts clapping and throwing toys and just generally celebrating the use of her hands. Because, why not?! Hands are awesome. And Mom is crazy, just let her do her thing. Eventually, she'll wear herself out.


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