Thursday, November 15, 2007

Language Explosion Alert: Proceed at Your Own Risk

We’re in the middle of a language explosion around here. Mr. Blue’s vocabulary is expanding--seemingly like the universe, at an ever-increasing rate. At night Justin and I recount the things the words he’s spoken for the first time: “He said ‘medicine,’ didn’t he?” “Well, actually it was more like ‘medsih,’ but yeah.” He says simple sentences now, like “I walk stairs,” or “Mamaw go bye-bye.” With each addition to his vocabulary, my heart swells with pride, like he’s the first kid who ever learned to talk. Now the words are coming out so fast, I find myself thinking, “When did he learn to say that?”

Like every kid, though, he has his own unique names for some things. He calls his toothbrush his “Nemo,” even though he has no idea that’s what the decorative fish on it is named. The blanket he sleeps with is, inexplicably, an “otay.” Anything heart-shaped is a “vah-vah,” and until this week he called a light that can be switched on a “dawdaw.” Monday night Justin told me Mr. Blue said “light” instead, as he turned off the one in his room. (It seems so strange that we can pin down the exact day he started calling it a light.) I felt the pang that I’m already familiar with from Miss Pink’s toddler years. You know they have to learn the real word, but the nonsense one is so cute, you hate to see it go.

Mostly, though, I’m happy to be able to communicate with him the way I communicate best—with words. Of course I loved my children's first few months, but sometimes it was frustrating that the screaming bundle couldn’t just tell me what she or he wanted (and I’d have to haul my shirt up and see if that was it. Again.) Plus, I like newborns best when they aren’t doing anything; if they’re calm and still, it’s a good thing. Any communication from a tiny infant is an urgent call to action. Now Mr. Blue can run around pointing at things, identifying them, and having a conversation with me. “Oh! Pane! [pointing at sky]. Bird. Fower. Want swing, Mama. Where juice? Tank oo. Oh, poopy” (not always accurate, but still helpful).

Then I chase him down (not an easy task), hold him tight, and whisper, “Stay like this. Stay just like this, and don’t ever change.”



  1. I still have not taught Olivia that she says it wrong when she says, "Uh oh pasgetti hose." It's so cute, I just can't let it go.

  2. Oh, and thank you for all your comments about writing books. Although I didn't say it, the Christian living book can be broken into pieces, so to speak, and I've been working on it one topic at a time. Almost every night before bed, I devote about 5-15 minutes to it, and even though that doesn't sound like much, it's coming along nicely. (Since one of the topics is about consistency, it helps to motivate me.)

  3. I hate this time when my youngest transitions from babyhood to toddlerhood.

    I have one child in that phase now and I am fighting tooth an nail trying to keep him as my baby.

    My husband tells me that I need to stop babying him and I tell him I will when he gives me another baby.

    After that he turns his attention back towards the television and I continue to baby my baby. (He will be four in December)

  4. Ah, the language explosion. I think it's my favourite part.