Yesterday when I was picking the girls up from daycare, I had to go to Hazeline’s classroom to pick up her diaper bag. I walked across the daycare and through the series of doors into the toddler room. Little did I know, Hazeline was toddling along behind me. I grabbed the diaper bag from her cubby and just as I started to turn around, I caught sight of her beside me, reaching for a toy as if she owned it. I stood there looking down at the expression on her face and started to laugh. And then, in my best Hazeline voice, I said, “Yeah Mom, this is where I hang out. These are my toys. You know, when I’m not sick…” We’ve had a lot of illness in our house lately so that last part only seemed fitting.
I then picked her up, put the toy back on its shelf, and turned all the way around to find another mother breastfeeding her baby on the far side of the room (the infant and toddler rooms share the same room, partitioned by a small half wall). As her eyes caught mine, she began to smile, obviously having witnessed my impression of Hazeline. To which I replied, “well, I’m guessing that’s what she would have said”. At that point the other mother burst out laughing. Okay, I was a bit embarrassed that she had heard my “Hazeline voice”, I mean the whole thing is a bit silly, but we’re both parents. Surely, everyone does this…right? She then stated that she doesn’t have a voice for her son who is about 10 months old.
My “Hazeline voice” isn’t a baby-talk voice or what I think she’s going to sound like when she gets old enough to start talking on her own, it’s just a voice different from my own. I often find myself wondering what she’s thinking and sometimes I feel the need to narrate for her, guessing at what she might be going through her head. It should be noted that the very same voice used to be my Greenleigh voice, but she started talking and well, that messed everything up. Good thing Hazeline came along to inherit the voice.
When I started asking around, everyone seemed to think it was odd that I spoke for my child…who can’t actually speak. Is it really that strange? I kinda thought everyone did this, but apparently not. Maybe I just need more adult conversation in my day?
Do/did you ever “speak” for your infant or non-speaking toddler?