I think there are studies suggesting little girls are generally more articulate than little boys. I can’t verify the existence of these studies because thoroughly researched facts have no place in this blog. If indeed such studies exist, I’m inclined to believe them. I don’t have any experience raising girls, but there are recurring instances when the average squirrel is more articulate than my boys. I’m guessing girls are, on balance, more articulate than squirrels. Ergo . . .
I think the preceding paragraph is a syllogism or something. It’s seems like pretty air-tight logic.
My boys may get some of their articulation resistance from their father. When I am particularly tired, I tend to grunt answers to questions. At a quarter to midnight, when I am struggling against all odds to procure some beauty sleep, and my wife rolls toward me to ask, “Do you want to have some pillow talk?” my response sounds something like, “Hrrrnn.” In my defense, “pillow talk” is not a euphemism for anything more exciting than a meandering conversation in the dark. “Hrrrnn” is a generally accepted abbreviation for, “No thank you, Dearest Love. As much as I treasure the sound of your voice, my endless days of being abused by employers and children demand sleep.”
My boys are grunters from top to bottom. Big Brother’s language exemplifies the period when cave people first domesticated wolves. It consists of a combination of grunts and whines, all used to voice displeasure at parental authority:
PARENT: “Get ready for bed.”
BOY: “Hnnn, urrrl!”
PARENT: “It’s time to get up for school.”
BOY: “Urmpf, ouwnnn!”
I understand his need to develop a good grunt; it may shield him from unsolicited conversation after he gets married. On the other hand, he’ll likely remain a bachelor if he’s forever uncorking a bottle of whine.
Buster grunts in accusation. Ask him why he’s crying and he will grunt through his tears, pointing a skinny finger at one of his brothers. This is not helpful; we already assumed there’s a brother at fault. To get useful information, we have to ask him where it hurts. If he points out a spot on his body, it indicates an actionable offense like punching or kicking. If he merely grunts again, we know somebody claimed a toy before he did, and that’s the kind of conflict they can grunt out on their own.
Big Man knows some words, but the ol’ grunt-n-point is this cavetoddler’s preferred language. There are many things he needs in his daily life, objects ranging from the dangerous to the sticky, and he will gladly grunt his desires as he points the way to necessary things. Some things are up high, where toddlers can’t reach. The more out-of-reach an object, the more urgently he needs it, and the higher-pitched his grunts become.
I think my boys and I do cavemen proud. Cavewomen might roll their eyes at us, but that just proves how little some people have evolved.
Hilarious Scott! I think there is hope for your boys. I had to look up syllogism, so your ability to articulate is much better than you think!
Fortunately, I don’t grunt as much when I’m writing as when I’m speaking.
I pray your wife intervenes so that grunting is a minimal. LOL You boys’ future spouses will thank her. Really! 🙂
You’re right: the future daughters-in-law will have no one to blame but their mother-in-law.
IF mine were still alive, I now have the courage to really speak my mind about this that and the other. But, consistent standing my ground has wrought changes for the better. YAY!!!!
Stick to your guns, Amy.
I am, Scott. Progress is slow, yet progress there is! 🙂
Patience, my friend.
Some days better then others. I’m sure you know all about the patience issue. SMILING!!!! ❤
Do you ever stop talking? 🙂
grumph humpgerrr huffysigh..
I am used to the grunting, having raised two boys. Now my eldest grandaughter is 4, we are getting used to piercing screams when she wants some attention! Louder, but still hard to decipher!
What? You mean louder doesn’t equal clearer?
Tell that to the presidential candidates!
I don’t know that I should Like this, being a great fan of articulation myself (but I, too, have to look up syllogism — oh, it’s syllogism not syllologism as I had previously thought, silly me — when I can get myself off the couch and over to my dictionary). On the other hand, I think adults sound really foolish when they say to a kid, “Use your words.” Obviously the grunt, whine or scream constitutes the child’s vocabulary. They mean, “Use MY words”!
In that case, I’m going to have to tell them to use their mother’s words. My words wouldn’t be much different from theirs.
And there are some words you don’t want them using, but no doubt they will.
Maybe I’ll encourage them to just keep grunting.
It worked for the Tim Allen character on “Home Improvement”
Well, if it worked on a sitcom, I’m all in.
That’s even more of an endorsement than “I read it on Facebook”!
That’s how you can tell I’m serious about it.
(sigh) well, at least, you aren’t expecting them to grow out of it, like a phase. (but perfect it like art) See, I was clueless. I had (2) children – a boy and a girl. They went through what I thought was this phase…EXCEPT, they are now 12 and 10 and still do this. Primarily my 12 year old son, when mom indicates it’s time to go to bed “aaaah-uh” (whine, flop on floor, stretch) To my 10 year old daughter, indicating she needs to do something that she clearly doesn’t want to do, we get a cranky quick “eeeeeumph!” (Like she is stomping her foot verbally)
I’ve learned to decipher these grunts and can predict when they will erupt. Like a mini volcano. My daughter bursts the top quickly and sprays hot lava. My son oozes out lava in a slow wave.
I’ve learned not to expect them to grow out of anything. If they do outgrow a phase, hey, Bonus!
Ok, I’ll admit it – I grunt in the mornings, only because I hate morning. I grunt hatred. That’s a girl thing, right?
We boys lunge at hatred. But morning has quick reflexes and we end up just stumbling into a wall.
Hail Cavemen! you are raising strong men, besides there is nothing wrong with spending all your time uncorking red wine bottles. The secret is that you need to drink it too.
Too bad it’s such a bitter whine.