5.01.2006

Out of the Mouths of Babes

In parts of southern and eastern Africa, and in a small corner of Connecticut, USA, natives communicate by a tongue known as the Click Language. To some indigenous tribes of the lower hemisphere, clicking is prehistoric in its longevity. In the 8-6-0, a nine-month old named Tolby is hoping to bring the trend stateside as she works with her elders and her peers to convey the nuances of this little understood mode of communication.

Tolby clicks to be picked up, or to be fed faster, or to suggest to her mother that no socks and no sweater is a degree of undress not well suited to early spring in New England. She craps, then she clicks. When she wakes up in the morning, there are clicks and coos mixed in with the occasional shriek. She'd probably click upon retiring, except that gasping sobs seem better suited to her feelings about her crib at bedtime.

Everything is new to Tolby--from the tongue in her smooth, wet mouth to sounds of her own making ringing in her ears. And it's new to my husband and me, too. We are aware that our daughter must not be the only one out there clicking, but she's the only one we know. Her explorations into the realm of language are as funny and sweet as they are enlightening. With her active participation, we become more of a family every day.

Sometimes we sit around the table and click together. Tolby gets frenzied, ramping up her tempo to match ours and raising both hands in a lobster-pinching kind of wave that means something we haven't quite figured out yet. She bobs in her high chair and sounds off inside flushed cheeks. We're loud and it seems like we're not making sense. But we get it, finally.

"It took you long enough," Tolby clicks. "This is what I've been trying to tell you."


[Note: Today is a banner blogging day as I have been nominated by none other than Mom-101 for the "Perfect Post" Award given out at Suburban Turmoil and Petroville for my post titled Lifestyles of the Penniless and Overlooked. I'd shout it from the rooftops, but it probably would be best if my neighbors didn't find out I was writing about them.

Thanks, Mom-101. It really is good for my writing soul.]

8 Comments:

Blogger lynsalyns said...

I agree with Mom 101. That is a perfect post. I liked this one, as well. I know exactly what you mean when you say you are becoming a family. I feel that way all the time. This week I we told her we loved her and she said "I yuve oou too." I almost died.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Buffy said...

Loved 'the perfect post'.

1:45 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Congrats on the nod. It was well deserved.

As for the clicking, I remember it well. When my chicky started to coo, I phoned my mom and made her listen. I was soo excited!

5:40 PM  
Anonymous motherhooduncensored said...

It's all downhill from here. No more silence. No more smiles to whatever you say.

But, it's awesome. And I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Congrats. Well deserved PP award :)

6:08 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

As I have said before, I love your blog and you are a perfect canidate for the perfect post.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

I didn't do it...you did it to yourself. Yeah, you!

6:44 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

The clicking phenom: very adorable! And congrats on the perfect post nod. :)

11:43 PM  
Blogger Tori said...

I loved the perfect post. Congatulations. I found it very sad and also beautifully written. Wow! What a scenario on either side of you - with your own little island in the middle.
I wonder how many "Betty's" there are in the world?
Lord knows there are plenty of Dirk's!!!!!
Thanks for the insight.

11:50 AM  

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