I can remember the not-so-distant early days, trying to differentiate "hungry cry" from "tired cry" from "need new diaper cry" to "STILL hungry cry", which parents are supposed to know intuitively. To me, however, it all sounded like "AAAGHHH".
The toughest were those nights when I was approaching his room while he howled, trying to determine my course of action: Go in, don't go in. Sorting all the conflicting arguments I'd read by the baby experts, along with my half-asleep instincts, I would try to figure out whether my fed-and-dry kid was crying because he had a real need or if he was starting to know how to work the system.
Come on, kid, give me something else-- charades, anything-- so I can respond appropriately! Bleary-eyed me can't figure this out at 2 a.m.
It's getting easier, though, now that I get more cues than just smiles or tears. No real words yet (much as I try to encourage 'Mama'), but lots of delightful babbling. Plus his new big thing is pointing, which is great in helping me understand him. Each time, it generally means one of three things:
- What's that
- Bring me to that
- I want that
|But I want what you're having.|
And then there is the odd time, despite all the pointing and grunting, I really have no idea what he's getting at. Like the pointing showdowns he has with the vacuum. He doesn't want to be brought to it, or brought away from it, but it seems like it's done something that he won't let it forget.