Thursday, April 10, 2014

Can we talk?

I'm always so intrigued by language.  I think I missed my calling studying child development, specifically in regard to language.  I guess there's always time to go back.... but I'll leave the schooling for the younger generation (for now).

I'm in what is, for me, a new and unique position.  I suppose it's likely more normal than I realize and likely the "way it should be" since my children are spaced in a biologically "average" way.

So what is this position?  Well, Whit becomes more conversational every day.  He's always been right on track in the language department and, just as expected as he approaches his fourth birthday, he's able to speak in a completely logical way referencing the present, past and future tense. He can think empathetically which really helps to curb his behavior at times.  He tells jokes (or at least attempts them) and can quote almost every line from his favorite movies.  His story telling has become quite fantastical yet he can relay actual events down to the smallest detail. (Ask him about the time he locked Eilidh in Grandma's bedroom).  And he's picked up some funny sayings along the way.  Now, he still makes those common childhood linguistic mistakes, saying "pasghetti" instead of "spaghetti" and "he do-s" instead of "he does." I know those will fall beyond the wayside just as his baby talk did.

Now Eilidh.... Eilidh is a special girl in many ways.  One of her talents clearly lies in language.  Yes, I know most girls speak earlier than their male peers.  But Eilidh blows me away every day.  As I did my brief research before writing this blog post I saw that a vocabulary of 20 words is typical for a child between 18 months and 2 years.  Eilidh has a vocabulary of more than twice that.  We began signing with her at an early age, just as we did with Whit, to increase her ability to communicate. Yes, she uses signs to communicate, but knows and says the word as well.

It's astonishing to me that in a typical day my not quite 13 month old tells me, quite clearly, that she is ready to "eat" would like "eggs" and a "drink" of "wah-wah."  Oh, and by the way, she really needed a "ork" to eat her eggs and I served that water in a "cup."  For snacks she will eat "appa" "nge" "nana" or "cacka." And she loves "ice."  Now for a sign/word combo.  When she's finished eating she's "Ahhh Daaa" all done.

I hear "mama" a  thousand times a day (which I love) "dada dada" in the early mornings and evenings when she expects to see him and "bra-bra" when she wants to play with Whit or he's done something she doesn't like.  Eilidh often likes to tell me where my "eyes," "nose," and "hair" are, asks to be both "up" and "dahn" and "in" or "out."  When we are outside she loves to ride in the "cah" or on the "actor" or go down the "side."  She enjoys "rock"ing her "baby," playing "ball," pretending to "cook" and playing with her brother's "trucks." At night we take a "bath" read a "book" and drink "milk" before going to sleep.

Eilidh is also quite friendly.  When you meet her if you stick around long enough you'll see and hear "hi" and she's great at saying "bye" but usually after we are out of eyesight.  She likes looking at animals from a distance and reading and talking about them.  "Ogs" go "woof woof" the elephant  goes "do-do" (like a trumpet) and the lion goes "rah" (very realistically).

I'm sure I could go on, but clearly these two little linguists suck up my energy on a daily basis. Hey, at least Eilidh's not awake to hear the click click of the keyboard and demand to be "UP!"

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