Saturday, 1 May 2010

Babytalk.

Last night I babysat my goddaughter. Her mummy -being an amazing single mum -deserved a night off so the little one stayed over.

The spare bedroom is being emptied after my parents decorating frenzy (the whole house!). So she sleeps in her travel cot in my room.

Which means one thing. When she is up, she is the boss.

This cute fifteen-month-old thinks Auntie being awake means playtime.

Auntie being up means it's all about her. She smiles, bats her long lashes and holds up her arms for a cuddle. So, naturally, I have to obey. :)

At breakfast she sat in her chair, with her cereal, having a conversation with my dad. Her talking (as you would expect)is the odd familiar word, followed by mashed up baby talk.

But it got me thinking about words.

We spend the first few years of our lives learning words. We practice, write them down and read them over and over until we get them right.

My dad answered back by talking in a mix of ''real'' and baby words. And she kept talking, her face full of concentration and joy. She believed what she was telling him.

To her it made sense, even if I didn't understand. I knew then that sometimes it isn't the words we use, it's how we tell the story.

All we as writers need to do is harness that and repeat it on the page.

12 comments:

MissV said...

No post? Then I guess this isn't a comment....

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

MissV. Lol, sorry. I think I was posting when you wrote this. Now there is a post.

Deb Salisbury said...

Oh - to be able to transfer that joy directly to the page ...

I'll keep working on it! :-D

beth said...

I was *just* thinking about this as I watched the movie HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON--the way the boy and dragon communicated wasn't through words, but it was still a type of communication. There was a story between them.

Carole Anne Carr said...

A delightful post!

MissV said...

I miss those imaginary conversations with the little ones! Carrying on like you know what the heck they're saying! Guess I'll have to wait for grandbabies!

Amparo Ortiz said...

It's amazing how much babies can teach us! I have a four-year-old cousin (soon to be five, but don't remind him...) and he thinks he's the boss daddy of the universe. Sadly, every adult lets him think he is, so there's not much I can do at this point to set him straight :(

Conveying a message through 300+pages is tough, but as long as we have enough passion for the story and for the craft of writing, it'll happen.

Have more fun babysitting!!

Jaydee Morgan said...

You've definitely hit on something here. It's much more than just the words and it's something we should think about when we're writing.

Great post!

Talli Roland said...

Great post. It's so much fun watching babies communicate with the world. Jaydee's right - writing is much more about words!

Lyn South said...

Aren't little ones brilliant? I love your simple, straightforward storytelling analogy. Sometimes, we make our writing processes more complex than they need to be. It really is about how we tell the story.

Jen said...

Little one's are so cute! Great post!

Christina Lee said...

Oh yeah my little guy opens my eyes every day!