Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I have nothing to say and I am saying it. And that is poetry.

Julie has a sweet post up about her son's recent language explosion. (No, no one was hurt. Just some bruised dipthongs.) Before becoming a parent, I remember learning about theories of language acquisition in college, but I didn't really get the magic of it all. (Look, the value of a liberal arts education! A science geek learns about language! Now, of course, all I remember is "Chomsky." No, not his theories, just his name.)

Man, am I glad they don't charge by the parenthesis here at Blogger.

Anyway, soon after having WonderGirl, I became fairly obsessed with the idea of her picking up language. It seemed beyond possible that she would find a way to organize and interpret the random sounds we made for her and figure out which were meaningful in a directive sort of way, and which were meaningful in a Mommy-used-too-much-tequila-in-the-margaritas-again sort of way. She was a bit late with first words; this was partly because I think we refused to believe she was using words unless they were exceptionally clear and partly to teach me a lesson. When she did start talking, though, it was amazing. One of my professors described the process of a child learning to talk as: "One day, your kid says, 'Gah," and the next day he says, 'Dad, I was thinking just now about dinosaurs...'" and that is almost exactly how it happened with WonderGirl. I'm still not sure how she managed it, and her vocabulary and syntax still suprise me.

(Side note: We have assiduously avoided baby talk with WonderGirl, both the adding of "-ie" to the end of all nouns and the gratuitous doubling of words, as in "wipe-wipe" or "Boutros Boutros." She still calls dogs "doggies" and we don't worry about things like that, but I do tend to encourage her not to similarly modify every word. Yesterday, she made a comment about her "poopy" to me, at which point I reflexively said, "Not 'poopy,' WonderGirl, 'poop.'" I have officially lost all perspective.)

Rocco is getting to the Age of Words now also, and he seems to be moving a bit faster than WonderGirl did, which is good, because he still does that weird scoot thing instead of crawling, and he needs something to keep the other infants from making fun of him at daycare. He definitely says, "Ma mamamamamamama," to mean me. Or food. Or water. Or daylight. This week he started with, "Uh oh" although we're not quite sure where that came from. We never make mistakes or drop things, hence no "Uh oh"s in the QoD house.

This morning, I nursed Rocco in bed while DT dozed a bit more. After he was done eating, he rolled over to see DT, which is his usual drill - he blinks his enormous eyes and grins, trusting that we'll forget he was just screaming bloody murder in his crib, then dives at DT. Today, before commencing the ritual, he looked at DT and said, "Dada." Swoon.

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