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Yeah Baby

Baby Talk

Babies are hella smart. You don't have to talk down to them, they'll run with whatever you're throwing at them. I try to keep it 100 with mine and talk to her like I would any other grown person. You should do the same.

by KOOL A.D.
Nov 20 2015, 5:00am

The author and his baby, having fun with the alphabet.

People act hella foolish when they talk to babies. Your "zany voice" game springs into action. All of a sudden you're doing hella accents, talking hella high-pitched, being like "ruh-roh somebody could use a widdle nappy poo." That shit is wild annoying. I used to hate the weird affected way some people talk to babies. I still do, actually, but I have a way higher tolerance and understanding for it now.

I try to keep it with my baby and talk to her like I would any other grown person, but the conversation inevitably devolves down to her level. I ask her what she been up to and she's like, "Dada." I'm like, "Yeah, I'm Dada, but like how you been? What you been up to?" And she's like, "Dadadadada." And I'm like, "OK. I think you're not getting the proper context of 'dada.' You can't just use that word for everything, like aloha." Then she's like, "Oh ah." And I'm like, "Yeah, aloha." And she's like, "Oh. Ooh ooh." (But sort of in a dog voice, imitating a dog.) And I'm like, "Yeah, woof woof like a dog." And she's like, "Doh-doh." And I'm like, "Yeah, doh-doh." Then she's like, "Doh doh doh doh dadadadada." And I'm like, "No doubt, no doubt." So basically it's like any conversation with anybody else in my life.

She's still got a lot to learn. She's getting talked to in English, Spanish, Farsi, Arabic, Turkish, Italian, sometimes even French when we're feeling fancy. I know that all of this supposedly slows down the baby's language learning process a bit, but by the end of it their language and general cognitive skills will benefit so I think it's worth it. Even rudimentary knowledge of second, third, fourth, etc. languages improves knowledge of the primarily used language(s) and generally improves intelligence and critical thinking. You know that the word "idiot" originally meant a person who speaks only one language? No joke. I learned that lil gem en la universidad, mang. Like back in the day before conquest and whatnot, it was hella little languages. Fools had to learn some new language just to be able to kick it with the dudes over the next hill. That's hella real. Thinking of getting some Rosetta Stones, not just for the literal kid but the proverbial one too, feel me?

I want her to look at the skies and read the language of the clouds. I want her to see bulbous rain clouds and know how much rain the crops will get.

Anyway, the baby fucks with dogs heavy right now, and even speaks a little dog. When she sees a dog she says "doh doh" and then does a sort of barking thing and usually the dog barks back, so I guess she be on her Doc Doolittle in some respects. I want this baby to learn the language of the animals and plants as much as the languages of the human world. I want her to look at the skies and read the language of the clouds. I want her to see bulbous rain clouds and know how much rain the crops will get.

But I try not to overburden her with learning too much. I might read her some books or show her the alphabet or count to ten with her or whatever, but when she starts getting bored I don't force it. I let her roll around on the ground and rub stuff on her face and whatever too. I love MDMA as much as the next guy, I get it. I think it was Mr. Rogers who said that play is the work of children, or something like that. I always thought that was a tight line.

One thing you absolutely must do is teach the baby how to say "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain" in a flawless English accent. That way the baby will be able to land a decent middle wage desk job as a plan B to whatever creative pursuits it follows. Another thing you want your baby to know is all the words to "Lifestyle" by Young Thug. Once it learns that it can find a good lean plug, which will come in handy. Also teach the baby how to say "¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!" which is crucial for aligning its Latinidad to el swagitudo correcto, tú sabe? Teach the baby American Sign Language. It will actually learn that quicker than verbal speech because its motor skills develop quicker than its speech centers. The baby should know some Chinese and some Hindi too, because it's hella those dudes on Planet Earth.

Make sure you and the baby have an understanding between you that's extra-linguistic but still has some anchors in the linguistic world. If you don't know what I mean go ask ya mama. Teach the kid Pig Latin so it can listen in on police scanners. Also some real Latin so it can read the Harry Potter books with some authority. Teach the baby the Supreme Alphabet of the Nation of Islam, of course. Also Morse code, the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, some basic html, and Braille. Music helps kids learn language so play it some chunes. I know I've mentioned that more than once but it's an important thang in my book.

Speaking of books, it's never too early to read to the lil monky. It helps it with the rhythm of language and gets it generally familiar with the feeling of holding a book, which is key. Let the baby read to you. It will be a totally different story than what you were prepared for, real Tristan Tzara level stuff.

Freestyle with the baby. They bars is Don Dada, they hop in the cyph with the E-40 ad lib like "Oooogh." Babies' ad lib game is nasty. They got the Yeezy/Montana "Honh" down, they got the Jay-Z/Dipset "Gyea," they even do a decent Pusha T "Yech."

So yeah, in conclusion, like I said hellof times before, babies are hellof smart. You don't have to talk down to them, they'll run with whatever you're throwing at them. They literally have nothing else to do but learn so go in, turn up, etc.

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