Where’s The Boy?

The Boy was a bit precocious in his language skills. He started talking at 8 months and seemed to keep a steady conversation going. When he was 3 years old, he used the word ‘dilapidated’ in a sentence…correctly. It was that moment I knew I was going to have trouble keeping up with this one.

The Girl followed 2 years later and I expected the same thing from her. Besides being unfair, I was also wrong. She didn’t talk until she was about 14 months old. She only spoke when absolutely necessary and then with a great economy of words. Instead of talking, she seemed to hang on every word spoken by The Boy.

There was a transition event which changed all that.

When The Boy was 5 and The Girl 3, a trip was planned to visit a so-so great aunt who had a house on a river. On the trip there, The Boy kept up a non-stop discussion of all the things he was going to do when he got there. The Girl, in consistent fashion, listened attentively.

And it was a great trip, with both kids running, exploring, and playing to their hearts content. Mid-afternoon, The Girl collapsed for an afternoon nap, but The Boy continued to run amuck.

On the trip home, as night fell, the seemingly endless energy of The Boy was finally depleted. The Girl, perched high in her car seat and refreshed by a nap, looked out the window. In the darkness of the back seat, The Boy slumped over in his car booster seat in exhaustion and fell asleep. Without him talking, the silence was surreal.

And in the midst of that silence, The Girl found her voice. She started talking about her day, continuing for 5 minutes using words and phrases I never thought she knew. Finally, she took a breath and, intently looking left and right, inquired:

“Where’s The Boy?”

With him slumped down in the seat and the darkness now complete, she couldn’t see him. I told her that The Boy was asleep next to her and she found his shadowed form in the dark. So she continued her monologue on the day’s adventures. Another 5 minutes of near endless talk, a quick look left and right, and the question again:

“Where’s The Boy?”

Now quite bemused, I again assured her The Boy was sleeping in the back seat with her. She found him and, satisfied we didn’t leave him back on the river, picked up her discussion and talked quite a bit longer. And, yes, there was at least one more

“Where’s The Boy?”

I was just too amazed that this previously quiet, reserved child could carry on such a rich and long discourse. Made for a great smile for me.

Post Script: Not unremarkably, today it is The Girl who does most of the talking while The Boy has become the quiet one. Oh, he’ll still talk, but now he’s the one exercising economy of words.


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9 Responses to “Where’s The Boy?”

  1. silverstar98121 Says:

    Girls are supposed to be more verbal than boys. I suspect your girl didn’t talk because her brother said it all. Once he shut up, she could talk.

    One of my sisters didn’t start talking until she was almost three. But, of course, then she started with complete sentences. And learned to read shortly thereafter. The nuns used to do a little dog-and-pony show with her when she was in kindergarten, taking her around to the classes and having her read third-grade books. Guess who’s third grade books she was reading, and who taught her to read in the first place?

  2. Dolce Says:

    Strange. This just took me back to my own childhood. I didn’t have siblings. But I would talk to myself for hours and hours. Not to imaginary friends. But to myself. I wonder what I’d have been like with a little airspace competition?

    Kids are amazing beastlings, aren’t they?

  3. daisyfae Says:

    mine were too busy with art projects (The Girl) or extortion (The Boy) to do much talking in the car… First words? The Girl – “Dawwwwwww-uuuug” (we had two large ones at the time). The Boy – “The Girl Hit Me!” (a lie).

  4. kyknoord Says:

    Kind of like a background generator hum. You only notice it when it stops. Obviously The Girl didn’t start talking until much later because she was waiting for a gap in the conversation.

  5. thegnukid Says:

    silverstar – The Boy still wants to talk, now HE doesn’t get the chance. But, i agree that women tend to be more verbal. We men just grunt and scratch a lot.

    Dolce – did you answer yourself? did you argue with yourself? more importantly, did you lose those arguments?

    daisyfae – i’m wondering if your kids verbal skills have progressed much beyond that…from prior posts, i can see that as conversation yet today. True?

    kyknoord – too true, too true. i’ve sometimes found myself tuning them out as white noise. and how often have been in situations with something to say and just waiting on a gap in the conversation [shakes head]

  6. Uncle Keith Says:

    Kids are funny. Not as funny as watching videos of guys getting hit in the nuts, but still funny.

  7. Parenthesis Says:

    Kids, eh? We spend the first two years of their lives teaching them to walk and talk, and the rest telling them to sit down and shut up 🙂 Got to go with Kyk on this one though, seems like the Girl may have been battling to get a word in edge-ways. Of course she might be like Godson #2, who only discovered his voice at age 4. Even now, he’s quiet and introspective – I can’t decide whether he’s likely to go down in history as the next Einstein or someone who will literally carve their way through cost accounting. With kids, it’s not always easy to tell 🙂

  8. hisqueen1 Says:

    yes yes–have 2 of my own. both boys. older one talked for younger one till he was past 4. They communicated by the point and grunt vocabulary and this was then interperated to me via the older one. Let’s just say that when the older started kindergarten (oh so many years ago) that the little guy and I had to have a long sit-down on the proper means of communication. Now–he won’t SHUT UP–(and at 13 I really wish he just would somedays) I just don’t need to hear the play by play from school. He said, she said and OMG. Enough-Enough. But at least he talks about everything–even getting himself in trouble for things he did wrong. I let the mundane things be said because somewhere in there is a very important comment that must not be missed by a tuned out mom.

  9. Timely Advice « The Wilds of Ohio Says:

    […] By thegnukid As mentioned earlier, The Boy is a good communicator with a great vocabulary. As such, I fully expected him to become a lawyer or some such. I was […]

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