C and I watched this amazing show last night.
Well in fact it wasn't that amazing, it was just some bog standard crap tv but it was about this woman who claimed to be able to understand what babies are trying to communicate through their array of piercing shrieks and cries.
This seemed ridiculous at first but then she (let's call her Babytalk Lady) explained that she was musically attuned as it were, and when her own baby was born Babytalk Lady was able to remember and recognise the noises he made at different times.
And hence, eight years on, and having closely watched many many babies (slightly unnerving don't you think?), she was able to create a dictionary of baby language which any parent, of any nationality, could use to identify their baby's needs. Apparently they are formed from the baby's physical response to the need.
She shared five of these with us but I am assuming there are many more since she has a dvd to flog somewhere. Here are the five and their meanings:
Neh ..... I am hungry, damn you!
This was a sort of general crying sound but you could distinctly hear a 'n' sound. It is created by the sucking action of the tongue against the roof of the mouth, which makes sense when you think about it.
Ow...(as in cow) Bed! Put me to bed before I have the welfare people onto you.
This is the sound for tired and I have to admit that I had already noticed that when Tricky was tired he would make this mournful owowowow shout.
Eh...burp me, for the milk it is mixing with the air and churning in a hellish manner in my gullet...
This is a sort of short eh eh eh kind of noise. Babytalk Lady says if they make that noise in the middle of the night one needs only to throw bubba over the shoulder and burp him/her before putting back down for restful repose.
Eairh....My tummy hurts, I want to make the bottom burp noise...
This is a sort of longer sound then the noise for burp me. Babytalk Lady says this will not be the quick burp back in bed scenario and probably means you are in for another hour of 'colic hold' ie cycling junior's legs like a pair of egg beaters.
Heh...I'm not happy. My clothes are too tight. I'm too hot, no wait I'm too cold. I'm worried about the proximity of those lemons...
Or "discomfort" as she described it. This noise was a sort of breathless huffing sort of cry.
The babies will often combine sounds because they are cunning like that but eventually one will dominate and when you have attended to that need the next will make itself known and then the next and the next and then you will drop with exhaustion.
Today I have heard Tricky say Neh when I was taking too long swapping him from one boob to the other, eh quickly followed by him spewing over my lap and owowow at which point I lay him down in his cot and he immediately closed his eyes and went to sleep.
It is both satisfying and also slightly creepy because I've been reading Spot And His Dad and singing Galumph Went The Little Green Frog to him over and over and for all I know he wants Proust and La Boheme.
Sadly, Babytalk lady did not divulge the secret words for... You scare me with your smiling or... These socks with the crocodile face on the toes are not cute they are demeaning or... For the love of God, drink some coffee mama, quickly!