My daughter is just shy of eight months old, and although she can't talk yet, it sure seems like she has a lot to say. This tiny little ball of love and opinion certainly likes to let me know what she's thinking, even if the jumbled sounds of jabber and babble don't quite translate perfectly into the English she is aiming for. Although it isn't English, or even words for that matter, I sure feel like I have a pretty clear idea what she's trying to tell me.
1."You smell funny." Oh really, kid? You don't say. You know, I've been home with you all day, having you drip body fluids on me every chance you get, like that time you swatted the bottle away from your mouth and ended up leaking mom's liquid gold all over my pants. So yes, I'm perfectly aware that I don't smell like a pine tree right now. But this bad smell is all because I love you. You're welcome.
2."I hate Tylenol, so why do you keep torturing me with it?" Yes, because I'm intentionally giving you medicine because I know you hate it. Never mind that fever you're running, or those teeth that are coming in and causing your mouth to be in pain. No, the Tylenol is definitely because I want you to be miserable.
3."I want to eat your shoes. And your pants. And everything." Sweetheart, please! You don't know where those have been. You have a million and a half perfectly good toys literally made for you to chew on them. Why must you insist on grabbing everything within reach, my boots and sweatshirts and towels included, and putting them in your mouth? You're freaking me out a little.
4."This rug is literally the coolest feeling thing of all time." Yes, little lady, you just love the way the rug feels on your tiny little fingers. You rub your hands on it, and your face on it and everything else on it. But hey, knock yourself out. It's better than reaching for my boots -- again.
5."I'm not tired!" Trust me, yes you are. You're far too little to honestly know what's best for you. And guess what? You won't know better for a very, very long time. So let's work on you getting used to understanding that your mommy and I are not putting you to sleep because we don't want to spend time with you -- we're putting you to sleep because you are so tired that your eyes are red. Okay, pumpkin?
6."Look, I can do it myself." Yes, yes, I see that you are incredibly proud of your ability to sit up on your own, and you are getting dangerously close to crawling, but you still have limits. I am more than willing to allow you the freedom and liberty to do what you can do, but when you start trying to do things that I know you can't, I freak out a little bit. I know I need to let you learn, but trust me, honey, you aren't ready for that scalding cup of coffee that daddy is holding. So don't try to grab it, please.
7."You just wait until I can crawl." I see it all over your face -- you want nothing more than to be mobile. And sometimes, I promise you look at me in an almost threatening way when I put you in a position where you won't be able to move. But yes, the day is close where that tactic will no longer work in my favor. Once you start crawling, you're never going to stop.
My little lady has plenty to say, even if she doesn't know how to say it yet. I'm in trouble with this one -- she is going to be one determined, opinionated little girl. But quite frankly, I love that about her.