At times it seems unbelievable that both of my children are now officially adults! I have been reminiscing about some of the funny things that they did when they were little. Parenting can definitely be challenging. I didn’t always laugh when these moments were occurring but at some point along the way, when I looked back, I was able to see the humor in it all.
One story in particular concerns my daughter and her belief, at age 1, that she could communicate perfectly with us. She thought we should be able to understand every word uttered from her mouth and believe me, she had a lot to say! The problem came in that we DIDN’T always understand her. She would speak these long sentences while I would try to decipher at least a couple of words from it so I could try to nail down the subject matter. You see she expected you to respond and carry on a dialog with her about whatever it was she was saying. If you guessed wrong …… well, you’ve heard the expression “all hell would break loose”!
In her desire to learn more and more vocabulary (even if her pronunciation was lacking), she always asked what everything was. She wanted to name EVERYTHING! There was an intersection that we went through nearly everyday and one day she asked “what’s that?” while pointing at the traffic light. So I dutifully named it for her and told her it was a traffic light. I don’t think that she understood that all traffic lights had the same name because it was only going through that particular intersection that she would proudly say “traffic light”. It really sounded more like “taco plate” when she said it but I knew what she meant and she said it every time we went through that intersection. I would then confirm, yes, that’s a traffic light. I hoped with the repetition that eventually she would be able to fine-tune her pronunciation.
One evening, she was riding in the car with her father as they passed through THE traffic light. Of course she wanted to share her new word with him and proudly said “taco plate”. Well, he didn’t really get why she was talking about taco plates but he dutifully went along and repeated for her “taco plate”. That’s when she got a little upset and repeated “taco plate” which in her mind sounded just like “traffic light”. To her dad….it was very clearly, “taco plate”. They went round and round with this dialog as she got more and more upset every time he got it wrong.
In his frustration, he decided to give me a call and ask about the meaning of taco plate. As I answered the phone, I could hear her crying in the background. He quickly asked me “What the heck is a taco plate?” Well, all I could do was laugh at this point because I knew exactly what had transpired without even being told. Of course he didn’t see the humor in this since he was the one with a hysterical child in the backseat but I thought it was priceless. After I managed to catch my breath, I told him it was a TRAFFIC LIGHT. As he repeated the words to her, she stopped crying and confirmed through her tears yes, “taco plate”.
I still laugh every time I think about this. Hopefully, her dad is finally able to see the humor in it. You’ll be glad to know that she still loves to talk and all of those little speech issues eventually worked themselves out. Every time I’m in a Mexican restaurant I think about that Taco Plate.