Just Between You And Me

Posted by Jesse

You may have already seen this video of the twin baby boys chatting each other up in the kitchen. You can check out more of these web darlings at their mother’s blog, www.twinmamarama.com (the mother also happens to be a twin). When I came across the video yesterday I immediately posted it onto the Facebook wall of the set of twins I’m closest with. Between seeing what a great relationship those twins have, and now getting video confirmation that twins are just plain awesome, I’m more convinced than ever I want to have a set of twin boys at some point.

The video also reminded me of my own secret language, that of the third child. Four years ago when we were both bored waiting for food at a restaurant, Michelle and I began talking to each other in “third kid speak”. I told her it was a language that only third-borns could understand, and it was basically a series of squawks and squeaks not all too different from the twins’ dialect.

It was really more of an acting game, and what made it fun for me was how quickly Michelle picked it up, especially at a young age. Though the words were nonsensical (“bee-da-BOO-bop?” and “ahhh…latta-beeka-woo”), we would use inflection, facial expressions, body language, and repetition of sounds to really give the impression that we were talking to each other.

For example, when sitting in a restaurant, if you tap the person sitting next to you and say, “Lapaaaaa…A-rak-a ma-kee-na-do-way?” and look around quizzically as if you’re looking for something, you can clearly communicate that you are looking for the restroom. I might have replied to such an inquiry from Michelle with some head-swiveling to survey the restaurant, a point to the back corner and “Raaaah…la pee-ta ruku she-ma-too-da, a-rashana mayku ratalama”, which of course means, “Ummm…I haven’t been yet but I think it’s back over that way.”

It was a great way for killing time, especially since waiting patiently was never one of my strengths, a third child trait that Michelle has in spades. We were even exclusive about it; sometimes poor Stephanie would want to play and might jump in with her own jabbering. We would look at her like she was crazy and making up words.

“No,” we’d tell her (in english). “You can’t understand it. It’s only for third children.”

Then we would laugh and go back to talking in our own language. (yes, yes, you can take me off of your uncle of the year ballot for that one, but I maintain it’s good to, every now and then, side up with one of the nieces against the rest of the family. Just ask Stephanie how much I have done for her advancement into the front seat of the car despite DJ’s threatening protests)

We don’t dabble in third child babble much any more. Regretfully, the last time Michelle engaged me in our private language I brushed her off because I was watching a basketball game. Like tickling and picking up and laughing at body noises, there’s probably a cut-off date when these things will no longer be amusing or even possible.

But I bet on, say, her wedding day I could lean in and whisper in Michelle’s ear “ma-kee-la a-tu-ree-ka-ma-do” and she would smile and know exactly what I meant.

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