Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Once upon a time, Miss Boo spoke 70 words at 17 months of age. Three years later, Rooster was speaking in full sentences by his first birthday.
Baby Doll Lulu continues to maintain her slow and steady pace of adding an average of zero words per month. She hit the 17 month benchmark last weekend, and still pretty much limits her English to the expressions "Hot!", "Hi!", and "Wow!" as well as "Mommy", "Daddy", and the newest addition, "Buh," which could indicate Bottle, Ball, or Bubble.
This does not mean the girl doesn't communicate. She makes all sorts of noises and faces, clicks and whistles that convey her moods and desires perfectly adequately. In fact, one could make a case that instead of learning English, she has opted to teach the rest of us Babblish.
For starters, she coos "Dada" in an adorable high pitched teeny voice whenever she's happy, contented, or addressing Daddy, Guppy (Grandpa), uncles, or, in fact, any adult male. As you might imagine, this has led to a couple of humorously awkward moments.
A wail of "Maaamaaa!" signals hunger, frustration, tiredness or a general sense of boredom that needs to be fixed with entertainment by another human. Of course I never take this personally. Ever.
She has begun to copy us in her baby way. A month or so ago, the adults were enjoying some after dinner conversation while baby still sat in her chair. Suddenly she joined the conversation: "Dah dah dah dah, AHAHAHAHAHAHA!" and we realized that's what our conversation sounds like to her. Now she walks around holding phones, blocks, or any similar object up to her ear talking into it and carrying on a babblish conversation.
Whenever we get in the car, everyone calls out "Check!" as they click their seatbelt fastened. Recently the roll call proceeded with a "Check!" Check!" "Check!" Check!" followed by a tiny, enormously self satisfied, "Dat!"
One day of our Ohio vacation, I brought a load of laundry up from the basement to find her waiting for me at the top of the steps. I set the basket on the kitchen floor and gently pushed it toward her, causing her to back up out of my way. As I did so, I said, "Beep! Beep! Beep!" Now she says "Beep!" every time we back her up, or whenever she sees a truck. Go figure, I have no idea where she got that connection. Child brains are amazing.
She has also started growling. She growls at pictures of Lions, Tigers, Bears, Dogs and Dinos. She meows for kitties. She will also growl "Pah-Pah!" for her Papa, but will not speak his name in normal tones. Such silliness!
At the dinner table, we pray before each meal. As soon as someone says, "Amen" she bursts out clapping and cheering, "Yaaaaaay!" followed by giggling. I'm not sure if this is going to cause any long term theological hangups, but hopefully it at least associates Jesus and a good time.
Last weekend we taught her about tickles, courtesy of our new TMX (Tickle Me Ten-Year Edition) Elmo. Now she knows that you can flutter your fingers on another person and flip your tongue over and over: "Tkhee Tkha Tkhee Tkha!" and they will have to laugh.
You might know she chose to implement this new knowledge on my calf earlier today as I was standing tiptoe on a step ladder trying to fix a ceiling light fixture. Girl, you really need to learn about timing. Come to think of it, maybe you already know it. That was actually pretty funny.
So the test continues: will we teach her our language, or will she teach us hers? Stay tuned to find out.