Sunday, August 16, 2009

The language teacher

The geekykids share a bedroom, and I sometimes hear snatches of their conversation. Geekygirl lays in bed narrating dramas for her plastic princesses (Cinderella and Belle go to the balls together, sleep in the same bed, and are both married to the same prince, the daddy doll from her doll house set. ) I'm not sure who she is modeling this family set up on, but it is certainly creative. Geekyboy has started to babble to himself, and I sometimes hear giggled almost conversations between the two of them. My dad, as a student and teacher of education, used to tape record my siblings and I as we played alone. The tapes are wonderful glimpses back to things I do not recall, and a fascinating window into the minds of the children we were. Video has replaced tape for capturing those fleeting gems, but there is something to be said for old fashioned "fly on the wall" eavesdropping.

Our mountain cabin has two loft rooms, one for us and one for the kids, divided by a single door, which we leave open. In such close proximity we are privy to more of their conversation. This morning as I drifted out of sleep at the almost reasonable hour of 6.45am I heard geekygirl saying " geekyboy , say "blanket" " He obliged with "ban key". Geekygirl continued her coaching with "paci", "window" and "princess" , geekyboy performing very well on these drills and enjoying the attention. "ah oo ah" (aurora) he said, presumably pointing at one of geekygirl's plastic bedmates. "no, that's Cinderella" geekygirl corrected. I think our son will soon be the only eighteen month old boy fluent in Disney princess naming.

Geekydaddy and I were smiling indulgently at each other by this point, when we heard "geekyboy, say pee pee". "pi pi" his baby voice piped back. "say poo poo" she continued. He indulged her. "say "head" she continued. "head!" he exclaimed, and we heard him batting himself on his head for emphasis. "now say 'poo poo head'" geekgirl commanded. "poo poo Edd" we heard. Then there was a pause, and I knew our quiet lie in was over. "Mummy! Geekyboy called me a poo poo head" geekygirl yelled.

Maybe this was a parenting moment that could have been used for teaching "not to manipulate others", but we were too busy laughing. I suspect geekyboy will give as good as he gets soon enough.


septembermom said...

I love how your son is getting a Disney princess education! You should see my daughter's princess obsessed room. Such a cute post. It's always fun to hear the little ones "communicate" in their own charming way.

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

How lovely! I love watching (hearing) the language development and can't wait to witness how Rosemary communicates with her little sister. It will be interesting to compare (in a scientific way, not a 'better than', 'worse than' way) their language development.

I wonder if second and subsequent children progress faster because they have someone closer to their age to help them, or slower because they get less one-on-one adult conversation. Hmm, wonder if someone has done a study into it?

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