Tessa and I have a special relationship.IMG_8097

(She’s the little one, not the one measuring her gargantuan head or the one posing for her Miss America publicity shots.)

It’s not like we even spend that much time alone together, but the time we do spend together is quite productive.

Episode One: Septemberish.

Ashley left her with me while she went into the other room to make her a bottle. We started playing.

As soon as she made eye contact with me, she started laughing.

Great – I look THAT bad today, huh?

She laughs more.

Ashley yells from the other room, “Is she LAUGHING????”

I yell back, “Yup.”

She comes running in, “She’s NEVER LAUGHED BEFORE!!!”

Me: “Umm…Oops.”

Episode Two: February.

Tessa and I are at the same Birthday party. We’re all sitting out on the deck, watching the older kids on the trampoline. Tessa is sitting in her carrier on the opposite side of the deck from me.

I start clapping, and then I make eye contact with her.

She locks into my eyes, and starts slowly clapping.

Ashley looks down, looks shocked, then follows Tessa’s gaze over to me.

Ashley: “SHE’S NEVER CLAPPED BEFORE!!! I spent all week last week trying to get her to clap!!”

Me: “Umm….Oops.”

Episode Three: March.

I kept AJ and Tessa on Tuesday for a little while. Since she and I had a reputation to keep up, I spent some time deciding what I was going to teach Tessa before she got there.

Ali and AJ were quite occupied playing keep-it-in-the-air,

So I started my training process.

We locked eyes.


AJ stops what she is doing to point out my ridiculous waste of breath. “She can’t talk, you know. She’s just a baby. She can’t talk. She can’t say Rachel.”


AJ: “She can’t SAY Rachel!!!!!! She can’t say anything but Dada!!!!!”


So while Ali and AJ were enthralled with The Nutcracker, IMG_8105

Anxiety-Filled about The Nutcracker’s demise after his fight with the Mouse King, IMG_8111

And pretending to be Clara so that they could dream about dancing with the Nutcracker and “Sugarplum Perry”,


I stayed on task.

“Say RACHEL. RaaaaaaaCHEL.”

Finally, Tessa locked eyes with me. She got a big grin. She opened her mouth really wide, as if she were preparing to shout the roof off the house.

Then she whispered in a tiny little voice, “atchel.”



“AJ! Come here! She is saying it!!”

AJ came running, very skeptically.



AJ: “She can say Rachel!!! Ali!! Come listen to my sister say Rachel!!!”

And that’s how I taught a ten month old to talk.


If only I had that much power over my OWN child.

Rachel is now taking baby and toddler training appointments for specialties such as learning to walk, potty-training, learning to pick up toys on command, eating what is put on their plate, and allowing their Mommies to go to the bathroom in without following them to ask them a bazillion random questions.

Scratch that last one – if she had the knowledge of how to do that, she’d lead a much more serene life.

23 thoughts on “Rachel: Baby Whisperer, LLC.

  1. I need a baby whisperer right at this moment! Amy Beth is in her room screaming her head off instead of going down for a nap.

    And teaching her to use her words would be quite helpful. She understands everything we say; she just chooses not to use them herself. After all, your dad was quite instrumental in helping her finally walk. You should keep up the family tradition.

  2. How much do you charge for a week's worth of potty-training? And remember, I have a boy. He will need extra training in the aiming department.

    Okay, Tessa is just beautiful!

  3. You ARE the baby whisperer. :)This one hits so close to home as our little Holly about this age started saying, "Yachel" for our Rachel. A happy memory..and so glad you got that baby to perform!
    Thanks, Rachel, I needed the uplift. :) I love you..someday we'll meet and even if it's awkward I can say in person how many smiles and happy tears have come from reading your blog.

  4. Don't forget that you predicted Woods' birthday…to the day…and he was 9 days early. And that was AFTER you went ON AND ON about how first pregnancies hardly ever happen early. My, my…you were "whispering" to Woods from the womb!

  5. Didja ever see that episode of 7th Heaven where Cecilia teaches Sam and David how to ride their bike and then Annie gets all bent out of shape because she didn't teach them? That's what I thought about. Not that Ashley is like that…I mean, i don't know her, but I remember the pained look on Annie's face, like she wanted to hurt Ashlee Simpson, err, Cecilia for that…but then again, Annie often had a pained look on her face.
    So, can we expect to see you on a Discovery network speaking in a foreign accent and "psht!"-ing at babies?

  6. Are you serious?! Tessa REALLY almost said your name?!

    Last month when I was in the church nursery I was so impressed that Tessa could clap & I've been trying to teach Aubrey to clap ever since with no success…guess it's b/c I don't have your super baby teaching powers!

    That's amazing and if you talents work on other babies, you so could start up baby teaching business!

  7. that is tooo funny! :) you never shared what her mama said when you told her the story…mad???!!!! haha

  8. Greta – yes, I'm for real. But I don't do early potty-training. She'll have to wait until she's almost three. :)

    Jennifer – SO sorry! I hope that the nap finally worked. As for talking, some babies are just stubborn. Ali was stubborn about walking… but I'll see what I can do next time I'm in the nursery with her. :)

    Mama Hen – I don't have my Whispering certification for male babies yet.

    Wade's – TOO true!! The blogging baby whisperer – it was MADE for TLC!!

    mlambchopper – you are TOO sweet!! Hopefully we will meet one day!!

    Bark – you're RIGHT!! Maybe I have The Connection with him, too.. but it certainly didn't seem that way when y'all were here. I don't think he was a fan of mine. :)

    Steph – hilarious. I can totally visualize that episode, even though I'm pretty sure I didn't see it. Although on her 6th and 7th kids, you'd think she would be over the whole "I need to teach them everything" phase…

    Christen – she most certainly did – clear enough for even AJ to hear. I'll see if I have The Connection with Aubrey next time I see you guys.

    Kathleen – She didn't let on that she was ready to kill me, but she's merciful like that.

    Trina – Nope – I didn't have time to get her to focus enough to show off for Ashley, but maybe that's best. However, I am totally kicking myself for not getting it on video. Maybe next time…

  9. Rach- He's not a fan of anyone over the age of, well 6 years and 1 day so far. He's a sort of very super sweet fraidy cat!

  10. I linked to your blog from a friend's blog and have loved it! so much so that I've now wasted away a good 1.5 hours during kiddos naptimes that I could have been doing something productive! haha! but I've loved it! thanks for the laughs! :)

  11. That is hilarious! If you could figure out that last one I would fly K down to see you. :) I love the first picture and the picture of the girls watching the nutcracker. Too cute!

  12. That's hysterical. Want to come teach my toddler the difference between up and down? Or, perhaps, how to say please before whining, instead of the other way around…

  13. So the girls are adorable NOW….
    by your definition, Jack is still a toddler, right? When can we expect you to begin?

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