The cycle of speaking went like this for Z:
By 18 months’ old – He was well acquainted with the names of Thomas & Percy. He was mouthing singular syllabus of their names and sprouting mono words like cars, trains and buses smoothly. Prior to that, I still remembered how we would prop ourselves up on our bed, which was next to a bay window on level 24, in the previous apartment and named every single car which whizzed down Pan-Island Expressway.
When he entered pre-nursery, or N1 as some schools called it, at 24months and 1 week old, he was the youngest in class by virtue of his birth date falling in December. He could not articulate well and I had to prepare a Get-to-know-Z sheet for his teachers to indicate what this little caveman could be gesturing for.
By 27 months’ old, which meant almost less than 3 months’ in school, he was yakking. He was yakking a lot. Previously, he was communicating with simple words but at 27 months’ old, he was throwing up a lot of sentences and stories. That was when Mr Chatterbox started.
In any case, owing to his new found verbal independence and in anticipation of baby X, we potty-trained Z at 30months’ old. Experienced friends had always taught us that potty training could commence when the child knew how to communicate.
From 27 months till the point when Z turned 48 months’ old, it was a painfully loud journey. He could talk so much that he would take up the entire talking space, interrupt our conversations, repeat himself non stop and ask a zillion questions, not including all the repeated questions because our answers did not go well with him. He would cry and take deep breaths, and basically disrupt conversations when we asked him to take a back seat.
For that period, I often wondered what we could do. It was a very long phase. While I knew we were not supposed to dampen his spirits, it got on our nerves. It was so bad that we had to be harsh on some occasions. It was taking a toll on our sanity too.
Sometimes, we joked that Z should have his own radio channel in future. I would market him as the only radio station with ONE DJ because he did not need a break in talking.
Z used to go, “Don’t say things like that.”
Or “Stop it, I don’t like it.”
Or “No, I don’t want to be a DJ.”
As magically as it started, I reckoned we might have seen the light at the end of the tunnel!
By 50 months’ old, Z still talked a lot but he held thinking conversations with us.
By 51.5 months’ old, Z handled himself like a budding and interesting conversationalist. It was delightful to chat with him and definitely funny to see his dramatic reactions such as slapping the forehead in ‘aiyo’ circumstances or giving us -_- looks when I talked about crappy stuffs.
Like recently, he learned that vitamins and fish oil were supplements which he had to take to make himself stronger. When he was eating corn at Pepper Lunch, he asked, “Does corn make me stronger like supplements?”
“No, corn makes you corny.”
Yes, that was one of those rolled-eye moments from Z.