Saturday, October 26, 2013

Baby Talk

Warning: this post is unencumbered by the editing process. I've got 3 out of 3 kids sick and I am needed in the Snuggling Department. 

Our 18-month-old is going through an amazing span of language acquisition at this time. I am taking a break from Pay It 40-ward posts because, holy smokes!, it's so freaking cool. We've already been through this with his big brothers, but their 'big kid' status makes it easier for all of us to observe and wonder at what is happening with our new little talker.

Some examples:

  • Last night Gabe was in one room with Scott and I and Elliott (now age 7) was in another room. Scott was shouting out a fake computer password to E and said, "One... two... three... four..." and Gabe chimed in "Five..." WHAT?! We had  no idea he had any concept of sequence like that. Of course we aren't dumb enough to think he really knows what numbers and counting truly are, but it's so amazing that the seed is already planted.

  • I was home with a sick Tom (now age 9) on Friday but had to buzz into school in the morning to pick up some work I wanted to get done. I had Gabe with me and popped my head into a classroom to say hello to a teacher. On top of her cabinets were a couple of those huge exercise balls. Gabe LOVES balls and so he immediately noticed them and said, "BAAALLLLL!" and I confirmed, "Yes, BIG ball, huh?" And he said, swear to God, "Orange." Okay. So, I think that might have been a fluke. But he totally said orange and the balls were totally orange. CRAZY.
  • Last weekend Gabe was playing with some beloved balls and bonking himself on the head shouting "zo - zooey! zo -zooey!" It took me a minute but I realized that he was saying "so silly! so silly!" When I thought about it I realized, yup, I do say that exact phrase to him when he does stuff like that. 

  • Don't get me wrong. He's not a flat out genius. For instance, cows say "moo" but so does every other animal, except dogs. And all dogs are "Pete" (the dog at daycare). Really, all four legged animals (deer, squirrels, lions, etc. etc.) are "Pete".... who say moo. Oh. Except birds. Because they all say 'cluck'. So, yeah. Genius would be a strong word for what's going on there!

  • Much to my chagrin he has also recently acquired the word "bink" so he can now clearly refer to his pacifier and I can't pretend I don't know what he wants. (We were THIS close to having them out of our lives, but he got sick last week and the only way to maintain our sanity was to allow binkies outside of the crib/bedroom, which for a long time had been the only place they were allowed. Can you say "backslide"? Also, can you say "lame justification?")
  • And don't get me started on NO... which actually means YES about 30% of the time. More adorable is when he is in agreement (and feels compelled to acknowledge it happily) and he says "'kay". As in:

"Do you want to get your shoes on and go outside?" 
"'Kay! Shoes. Outside!"

It's all just so amazing. What's going on inside his little head right now? What are those synapses doing? He could go on to get a Doctorate in Everything and I'm pretty sure he will never learn as much in such a short time as he is learning right now. I wish I had a better scientific understanding of what goes on in there... or the inclination to dig in and do the research. But I'm pretty happy sitting back and observing and documenting the evolution of our little yakker into a real talker.

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