Small Talk

All done?

May 23rd, 2011

If I interact with you and end up speaking kiddie-talk, forgive me. It becomes so much a part of a parent's lexicon that it comes out automatically.

I don't really do baby talk to my child, but there are a few things that are very mommy-sounding out of my mouth. I have noticed the most common is "All done?" When posed as a question, it's not so bad, but when offered as an answer or an indicator of my status, it does take on a more childish tone.

I notice it, but only right after it's uttered and out in the universe. I always secretly laugh at myself and hope that the person doesn't catch it. Like, at the grocery store, I was asking the cashier if she was finished verifying my credit card signature. "All done?" I asked. I know this is not what I would have said pre-Olivia.

Or, Claus was trying to tickle me, and I did not want that. "All done," I insisted forcefully. "All done!" I have also caught myself reminding my mom to "go pee-pee before we get in the car."

Hopefully, I'll grow out of this before I end up trying to conclude a corporate meeting with, "All done?"

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7 Responses to “All done?”

  1. Ken Conklin:

    When adults speak to children, it's not only the words and phrases that are different but also the tone of voice. The tone-of-voice difference between speaking to an adult and speaking to a child is especially noticeable when it is a man who is doing the speaking -- especially a man whose normal voice is either low or gruff.

    I have heard men speaking to children using words and tone of voice they would use when petting a kitten. Men often seem to think they must sound like a woman when speaking to a child -- their tone of voice rises by an octave or more, sometimes approaching falsetto; and it become sing-song or questioning (rising at the end) rather than declaratory or affirmative (falling at the end). Of course it's necessary to use simple words when speaking to children, but it is not necessary to use falsetto or sing-song; so it's a mystery why men (or women) do that.

    It's funny when a man who is speaking to a child then immediately turns attention to speak to an adult, but forgets to change his vocabulary or tone of voice. This is a frequent situation for men who are teachers or principals at preschools or elementary schools, using falsetto with kiddie vocabulary to talk to parents or faculty meetings.

  2. Rosette:

    nobody is perfect...if you have children you understand.

  3. Rosette:

    my husband doesn't speak baby talk to our boys ..or change his voice..but with kids they want you to talk baby talk to them...the most I say is sweetie or love to my boys and my voice change....I think with girls you tend to be more girly baby talk.

    I try my best.

  4. Rosette:

    as kids get older you change and you no longer speak like a baby.

  5. Rosette:

    when I speak to other people's children I keep my voice normal.
    My niece now if I keep my voice normal she looks uncomfortable so I try to keep my voice soft girly for her..then she soften up.

  6. Rosette:

    I think certain voice a kid listens..sometimes they want softer voice...or sometimes they prefer stern firm voice.

  7. Titus:

    I work with children, so I do the same thing. The only difference is that I ask, "All pau?"

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