Dear Grandparenting: I need to get something off my chest. We rented a home for three weeks on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. This year we decided to invite our two granddaughters to stay with us, hoping we could get to know them better.
One has been engaged for eight months. She brought her significant other along too. My younger granddaughter and her boyfriend arrived one day later.
Right away they started up with this silly baby talk. Love bug, hot stuff, lover girl, love muffin, snuggle bunny, cuddle bear, cupcake, cute boy – that’s what they called each other.
I have a big problem with this non-stop love muffin stuff. It sounds phony. They ought to keep it to themselves. It’s like when people can’t keep their hands off each other in public. Who needs that?
My daughter doesn’t talk like that to her husband. No one else I know in their right mind does either. So what’s gotten into my granddaughters? Brenda Lord, Vineland, NJ
Dear Brenda: To be young and in love gives one license to speak a different language. Take it from experts who study such things.
Feelgood brain chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin alter the behavior of romantic partners, say behavioral scientists who study the biochemistry of romantic relationships. Your granddaughters display the same emotional high as lovers shouting their joy “from the rooftops.”
Expressions like “I love the sound of your voice,” are heartfelt and authentic when reciprocated by the significant other. It’s the real deal when both partners engage in baby talk.
That’s the good news. With both partners baby talking, a loving and long-term commitment is usually in the cards. Who knows? Those significant others might become parents of your great grandchildren.
Grand remark of the week
Jeanne Stott from York, PA reports she endeavors to give her grandchildren the “impression I’ve been waiting and getting all excited about seeing them again,” whenever they come to visit, no matter how she’s feeling that day. “And that’s usually the truth.”