03 November 2007

Is My Baby Holding a Grudge?

Olivia has been saying "GA-BEE" a lot more the last few days (see the previous post). It's definitely started to take on a more accusatory tone. But what's funny about it (and I don't know if I should keep laughing when she does it now or not) is that she still talks about when "SAN-SAN" (Her cousin Hassani) grabbed her a few weeks ago. Several times in the past few days she has randomly said "GA-BEE, SAN-SAN." OR "SAN-SAN, GA-BEE." Liz and I find this hilarious of course. It's as if she's still not over the emotional trauma and is still trying to tell on him. Well, to be fair, Hassani is kind of a grabby baby and he has huge beast paws for hands. I know that most babies grab a lot, because they're babies and that's what they do. But Hassani's grabbing seems somehow more intense. It's as if his massive hands act on their own, or perhaps control his mind. So besides being gouged by Hassani's massive hands, Olivia has also had some of her things (such as crayons) grabbed. In the photo below the size of his hands can't be deciphered, they are blurred since he is in the act of grabbing:

Nevertheless, I am slightly suspicious of something: Olivia is smart. How smart, I don't know. And I don't know if she's smart enough to know that we don't know how smart she is and to then conceal that intelligence for her own gain. But strange things have happened. For example, about a month ago (Olivia would've been about 17 months) Liz was counting out loud and when she got to nine, Olivia suddenly chimed in: "Ten" We both freaked for a second. Then we tested her. She could pretty much count. We would say one number and she'd say the next, all the way up to 10. Then last week I discovered she could actually go to twelve. It's as if she's toying with us. Letting little bits of her intelligence be known, but on her own time and only when she's pleased with the circumstances.

Now back to my theory: How smart is Olivia really? Because while Hassani, with his beast hands, would appear to be the bully of the relationship (if 8 month olds really do bully) it is actually Olivia who constantly takes his things. As soon as she sees him she looks for his sippy cup and takes it. She never liked the baby food that we tried to feed her, but she loves Hassani's baby food. She also likes to sit in his stroller whenever possible. The same goes for high chairs or anything else he sits or climbs in. So I'm wondering, could there be any forethought involved in these accusations? Is she trying to convince us that "SAN-SAN, GAH-BEE" so that she can gain the moral leverage to justify the confiscation of his toys, food, chairs--even perhaps his big brother Nasir whom Olivia adores?

Joking aside I am really curious about why she says that. She's just started to combine her words. She will say "CAT. MEOW." for example. Until recently we would have to prompt her, "What does a Cat say?" Or she would just use the words interchangeably and MEOW was just another word for CAT. But she seems to be sort 0f defining things in her own way now. For example if she's talking about Nasir she will say "NAH-NEE" and then she'll make a growling sound. (Nasir growls and roars a lot, because he's almost always playing some version of superhero). And the growling impression is quite accurate. Enough that when I heard it I immediately recognized it as a Nasir growl. Last week I taught her to pant like a dog because I thought Liz was getting her a dog costume (long story) so now she independently says "GAW-GEE" and then pants. And of course when she says "SAN-SAN" she now follows it with "GA-BEE". So what I can surmise is that in Olivia's mind cats meow, dogs pant, Nasir growls and Hassani grabs. But when she says it, she seems like she's actually still upset about it. Or at least aware that grabbing is a thing to be upset about.

So is my baby holding a grudge? Tonight at dinner Liz offered "What else does SAN-SAN do? Does he laugh?" And then Olivia laughed. So maybe we'll try to encourage that description in favor of the GA-BEE. Although it isn't nearly as good of a story.

1 comment:

Corinne said...

Sounds like a Grudge to me.