What does a Wookie say?
I once read that of a little girl’s vocalizations, 90% were linguistic based. Meaning most of the sounds a little girl makes are words. Little boys, on the other hand, are only 40% linguistic. The other 60% is comprised of car motors, gun sounds, explosions, animal noises and any other type of descriptive audio. I consider myself above average in that department. I’m not a Michael Winslow (Police Academy movies), but I’m pretty good. So, naturally, I want The Boy to be good too.
My wife and I have been trying to impart the knowledge of animal noises to The Boy. We’ve been at it for quite a while now. His room is done up in a jungle baby theme; his mother thought the animals were so cute. Well, they are, but I had originally hoped for a rocket baby theme, because retro rockets are awesome. I was thwarted by lack of supply. Curse you waning trends!
Back to jungle baby. Elephants, tigers, monkeys, and giraffes dominate the bedroom set. Every time he wakes up we go around the room and point at various animals and ask him what they say. “What does the elephant say? What does the monkey say? What does the Tiger say?” Surprisingly he got elephants first.
Now I need to mention that we don’t do anything halfway. So when I say that we make elephant noises I mean that we compress our lips together and blow like a trumpet and it sounds pretty close to what an elephant would sound like were he only 10 or so inches tall. The Boy hasn’t quite got the pitch yet, but he’s definitely enthusiastic about the lip vibrations. The monkey was the next to be mastered. This one is pretty simple with ooo-ooo’s and aaah-aaah’s, which is why were were surprised he got the elephant first.
Only recently did he growl like a tiger. We’re not sure why he would never reproduce on command a sound we knew for a fact he could make. He would just stare at the cartoon tiger as if daring it do anything other than be silent.
We don’t bother with the giraffes because, honestly, when was the last time you heard a giraffe make any noise? I know they have a call of sorts, but have you ever seen a giraffe on a See ‘n Say? Yeah, me neither. They do make a llama kind of sound when they’re little, but just grow out of talking. Maybe they all take a vow of silence during adolescence like some kind of twelve foot tall monk on stilts. On second thought, maybe I should teach The Boy that a giraffe is practically silent so when he’s being obnoxious I can surreptitiously quiet him by asking him what noise a giraffe makes. Note to self.
So that completes the animal decorations in his room, and we’ve been adding other animals here and there. Dogs, pigs, cats. Then, I thought, what kind of geek father would I be if I didn’t teach him how to talk like a Wookie? My Wookie is really good. I could probably converse with Chewbacca and not insult his mother more than a few times. For those who don’t know what one sounds like, please reference this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQIwEZlOzp4 . I must teach this useless skill to my son.
The Boy thought it was hysterical the first time, but he learns fast and pretty much already has it down. He has yet to do it on cue, but almost always does it after I do it first. It works best when he’s laying back and can get a little extra drool in the back of his throat. I don’t yet have a picture or stuffed wookie to use a visual reference, but that doesn’t seem to matter in the teaching process. I’m curious to see how he reacts the first time he watches Star Wars and hears a noise he’s been making since he was a year old.
I think next year for Halloween we’re going to have to get one of those toddler Wookie costumes.