Thursday, June 18, 2009

on language

There are so many intangible pleasures of watching one's kids grow up. Delight in their delights, amazement at their imagination, and the sheer joy of snuggling with a pudgy infant who changes almost daily into a little person. For me though, my greatest fascination is with the development of language. I feel such a leap of understanding and connection when the kids can explain to me what is going on in their inner world. Of course we communicate before there are words, but this language explosion is such a fabulous, unique, human thing, that I find myself constantly amazed by it.

Many people told me "Oh, if you have a girl first and then a boy don't worry that he is developmentally retarded, boys just speak late". But Geekybaby seems to be breaking the mold, maybe he falls more into the "Second kids speak earlier than first kids because they want to talk to their sibling"theory. Because our two kids were born within a few days of each other, separated by two years, it is easy to compare milestones. Geekygirl went through her "language explosion" at about 18-20 months. Geekybaby had his first words at just over 12 months, and now must have 10 or 20. I'll list them at the end of the post, for posterity. And for grandparents!

This week we had our first true conversation. I was sitting on the living room floor, next to the dogs bed, and Geekybaby came over and said "Dog. Woof. Where?" in a quizzical tone, and pointed to the empty dog bed. "Are you asking where the dog is?" I clarified. "Yeh" he said, and nodded. "I think she is in the kitchen" I told him. "Oh!" he exclaimed, and toddled in that direction to find Geekydog, and obtain his daily big sloppy dog kiss.

I sat back and went over this little conversation, and was awed by the fact that my little 16 months old and I can understand each other through language already.

Geekygirl, also a prodigy in her mummy's eyes, talks non stop, I love this window into her mind. She made me laugh with this little exchange on the drive home from preschool. She has become interested in age, in particular the fact that she is 2 years older than her brother. "How old will he be when I'm 10?" she asks "Well he is two years younger, and 10 minus 2 is 8" I reply. This conversation can go on for a while, but should be productive in mathematical learning (She can add, but subtraction is still a mystery). Then I heard "How old are you mummy?" "I'm 38" I replied.

"How old will you be when I'm 38?" She asked. This challenged my mental arithmetic skills and cast my thoughts into the unimaginable future, but I managed to reply, with a sigh, "I'll be 72".

Geekybaby's word list:
Mummy, Daddy, Ball, Book (first word!), cheese, cracker, milk, dog, woof, yes, no, ball, balloon, bubble, airplane, apple, neigh, moo, baa, pig, cow, quack, duck, fish, shoes, socks(gocks), up all done, bird, baby, sister, tub, whats that?, where, open.


followthatdog said...

they are amazing little creatures, aren't they?

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

We find language development fascinating, too. The vast differences between children of the same age is interesting, too. I think we read that it is the type of development that varies the most.

My mother apparently didn't speak until she was three, but when she did she spoke in complete grammatical sentences. (Of course, that might be one of those stories that become wildly distorted over the years!)

Post a Comment

I love to get comments!