Monday, May 15, 2006

Interpreting body...baby...language

As I mentioned in my previous post, Russ and I babysat Juliette and Cosette this past weekend. While we were there, I noticed that there is a definite gender difference in our ability to translate baby language. Cosette is at that age where she is perfectly capable of communicating what she wants-without words-as long as you can understand her body language and whines. Here's how the conversation went:

Juliette has made her way over to the piano, climbed up on the bench and began playing...er...that is, banging, on the keys.

Cosette: toddles over to Uncle Russ. (Did I mention she's walking now?!? It's AMAZING!) She looks up at him, lifts her arms a little and says "Unnnhhh". (As an aside, Cosette has a definite attachment to her Uncle Russ, and he, just as clearly, adores her. It makes my heart melt every time they are together.)

Uncle Russ: bends down and says, "Hi Cosette."

Cosette: louder this time: "Unnhhh" as she buries her face in Uncle Russ' shins.

Me: "Honey, she wants you to pick her up."

Russ: "Oh" He picks her up.

Cosette: leans her body towards the piano and again says "Unnhhhh", this time in a slightly higher pitched tone.

Russ: A look of confusion on his face. "What do you want Cosette?"

Me: "Cosette wants to go to the piano, where Juliette is."

Russ: brings Cosette over to the piano where Juliette is still happily banging away, and continues to hold her, far above the keys or the bench.

Cosette: Leans down towards the keys and says, "Unnnhhh" this time with a definite tone of frustration.

Me: (before he can even express confusion) "Sweetie, I think Cosette wants to sit next to Juliette."

Russ: puts her down on the bench.

Cosette: begins happily banging away on the piano keys along with her big sister.

See? Clearly, Cosette wanted to be somewhere, doing something, and she managed to communicate that wish to Uncle Russ. Luckily for her, Auntie Lisa was nearby and able to translate her wishes....

2 comments:

Tina said...

Haha! I can totally see it. I think Cosette communicates very well considering she only knows how to say about 5 words... sort of. Aren't my girls the cutest?

Dianna said...

That is too funny!!! What a great Auntie and Uncle you guys are! It is amazing at this age how they definately know what they want and can usually get their message across pretty effectively! The hardest part is when you have both tried everything you can think of and still can't guess right! :)