I haven’t documented Trixie’s language skills in so long that it’s pointless to even try to compare what she can do now to the primitive babbling of one year ago.
Her language evolution is relentless, yet so absolutely incremental that I have no idea how we arrived at the current point in time. One year ago it was simple object identification. Today it’s an assemblage of thoughts, feelings, observations, consideration of consequences and mimicry.
As a parent, it makes me proud. As a human, it completely blows my mind. Being able to witness firsthand how our species develops is probably the most amazing thing I will ever do with my life. The fact that I’m about the 100 billionth person to do it doesn’t diminish it for me at all. In fact, it just reaffirms how the experience is so universal.
The event that made the biggest impression was the first time she imparted knowledge to me. I do not remember what the knowledge was, or when it took place. It’s a shame. I was busy at the time – not writing – and you don’t always know what’s going to make an impression on you. But it was sometime around 6-9 months ago.
Prior to that point, you could communicate with Trixie, but the majority of the conversation was reaffirming things: “Are you hungry?”, “Do you want some juice?”, “You want Mommy to take you potty, right?”
In other words, it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know. At one point though, a question was asked out loud, maybe not even directly to Trixie, and she provided an answer that shared her knowledge.
It might have been something as simple as, “Where in the world is the TV controller?” But the answer to that inconsequential question was the first time Trixie ever educated me, with words and knowledge. It’s a striking realization, because you quickly understand how each generation eventually takes the reigns from the previous. Not in a depressing way, but more of a cycle of life that makes you appreciate being a part of something.
Anyway, that’s a little too heavy to think about when taking care of toddler. For the most part talking with Trixie is pure joy because you can actually communicate in interesting and unpredictable ways. Plus tantrums aside, she doesn’t let you get too stressed out about things. Her favorite thing to say when things go wrong is, “Wellll… that’s ok”.
“Trixie, there’s juice all over the floor!!”
“Trixie, you were supposed to be asleep TWO hours ago!!”
“Ah crap, we’re out of beer.”
The next important milestone will be when she can take care of that last problem. Then I’ll be really impressed.