January 19, 2010

"You're an Idiot" and other such innate non-verbal communications!

Photo Credit: http://gailbhyatt.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/pouting-little-girl-istock_000006840535xsmall5.jpg
Well today I realized (likely not for the first time, but anyway), the power and clarity of non-verbal language. I learned way back in University (when I was forced to take the etymology of language) that we are actually born knowing language. We are hard-wired to understand meaning. Hm. I guess this is why young children have an easier time learning a variety of languages and as we get older this innate ability fades.

At breakfast my daughter looked at me with an expression she has given me many many times; a declaration that I am sure (since she is my daughter) she will use often in the future. She looked at me sideways (through her squinted eyes), cocked her head, uttered a barely audible sigh, and said (without need of any word), 'Are you an idiot? I thought so! Seriously Mom, I mean REALLY!'. I realized at that moment, that this impatient look is the one she gives me most often. What could this mean???!!!

Are we women born destined to have this special relationship with our mothers? You know the one: when mother says something and we wonder how she could even consider such an idea???!!!

Some other expressions I have noticed my daughter use:

'Dad, You're the best.'
'Dad, You're so funny!'
'Mom, where is my food? Ew. This is gross!'
'Dad, I love you.'
'Mom, I want to go to bed NOW.'
'Dad, I adore you.'
'No? Did you say no, mom? Are you quite sure about that? Let me just try to do what you've forbidden one more time and see if you change your mind!'
'Ha! You think you're the boss, mom!'
'Daddy, I missed you!'
'I know you know I am guilty...'
'Grr. I am so angry at you mommy!!!'

Okay, so maybe I am sensitive, but I swear baby E saves all her adoring looks for her pops. And I? I get the 'Are you serious, mom?' looks. And, as I can recall (having grown up a female with a mother), I know that that was exactly how communication worked in my house. I had the 'screw you, mom' face down by the time I was five. It was my number one saying; I had the perfect piercing eyes -- just ask my mom. She'll tell you!

And so, today, I have come to terms with the fact that my daughter is already a pro at communicating her thoughts and ideas and that while she does have some loving looks and expressions, she is really excellent at stating her distaste for all things mom. The cycle continues.


  1. hahahaha nonverbal communication is how I roll...all day, every day. Trust me :)

  2. nice...it's a talent!


Thanks for your thoughts!


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