Language skillz

In that post a few months ago about Kent's language, I reported that he had about 130 words or so. Before I started writing them down, I thought he had maybe 30 or 40, but then I realized it was a lot more, obviously. After that, I stopped keeping track, because he added 2 or 3 words every day and there were just too many. About a month ago, he started putting two words together. I think his first multi-word utterance was "Bye-bye, Dada." He started describing things with adjectives and possessives, like "silly Kent," "Daddy's car," "big table," etc. Now, just a few weeks later, complete thoughts are spewing forth from his little toddler mouth. Sentences. Requests. Descriptions. It's mind-boggling. The day I noticed exactly how far he had come was about a week ago, when he was holding out his milk cup to me and saying, "Tay me mo," meaning, "Take my milk." I couldn't believe it.

It's fun to speculate what newborns are thinking, but you never really know. Even with toddlers who aren't speaking much, it's hard to know, because they might be saying "Mama" or "No!" or "milk" but you know there's more behind the thought than just that word. Now, though, I feel like I'm starting to get a real clue what he's thinking. It's a great lesson in how humans acquire language. I keep thinking about how much my psychologist friends Lauren and Steve are going to geek out whenever they have a child.

He also seems to form memories around words and phrases, or at least that's how he expresses them later. We went to the Baton Rouge Zoo about a month ago and he scraped his knee on the sidewalk, so for a while, he'd look at his scraped knee, say, "Say knee" (scraped knee), and then immediately say, "zoo," as in, "I scraped my knee at the zoo." While we were on our trip, we went to the NC Zoo (post forthcoming, don't worry), so he got to form new memories around a zoo. We walked by the lion habitat, and the lions were sleeping, so ever since, he's just been yelling out "Lie sleeeeeeee" (lions sleeping) at random moments. And if we mention the word "zoo" in any context, he always reminds us that the lions were sleeping when he was last at the zoo. His associations are pretty powerful.

He also gets SUPER excited about these phrases of his and will just ball up his little fists and yell them out. I laugh when he does this, which makes him laugh and get even more excited. At dinner a few nights ago, I felt like he and I were laughing together, making each other amused, for the first time ever. I've always giggled at things he did or said, but this was the first instance in which I felt like he was reciprocating laughter, responding to the fact that I was so amused. We were like two giggly friends who get punchy together. The feeling was indescribably sweet.

Recording his language on video has proven to be something of a challenge, since he's often more interested in the camera than in speaking whenever I pull it out, or it makes him more self-conscious, or something. But here's a little gem to let you hear his voice, at least. Explanation: he only recognizes a few people on TV, among them, President Obama and Bobby Flay. We were watching Iron Chef America the other day, and Kent got really excited about Bobby. I can't blame the kid. Bobby can seriously cook. Anyway, here's a video for you.

Oh, and did I mention that he can recognize all the letters now? W is his favorite (which he still calls "doo"), followed closely by Z and K. He can also recognize some numbers, and he spazzes out a little bit when he's saying the alphabet or counting out loud. Sesame Street is a blast now.

Labels: , ,



Yes, I'm totally going to geek out when we have a kid, because I already do that with YOUR kid! I love the developmental updates! In your 2nd paragraph, you've just summed up why I love being a developmental psychologist. It's awesome. Oh, and it's just perfect that your kid knows Bobby Flay, since you talk about him all the time!

Tell Kent hi from "La & Steeeee" for us. I love that we both got a Kent-assigned name while we were visiting. :-)
Post a Comment

<< Home



what I read

where I go