Communication Update, May 2009

We cannot count words.  WST* has totally glommed on to the idea of communication, and repeats and uses words just as fast as we can say them.  She has really begun to participate in the “can you say?” games – whether it is real words or just sounds.

On the pronunciation front, she is still difficult to understand by the unitiated – lots of times we only recognize the word in context and because of the cadence or intonation of what she says (it has the right # of syllables and accent).  Motorcycle, for example, is something like dOH-eh-ty-uhl;, but is produced without prompting when passing a Motorcycle in the parking lot.  It reminds me of how drunks are portrayed  on TV – THEY know what they want to say, but their mouth isn’t cooperating.

And man-oh-man is she understanding what we say.  No repeated swear words yet, but the time when we can talk about her in front of her is repidly coming to a close.  We are already regularly spelling words to each other over her head (b-a-th, c-o-o-k-i-e, d-o-n-u-t, etc.) as she catches those words representing things she wants or doesn’t want really well.  She also tunes in when we think she is occupied doing other stuff. Example:  (WCT playing happily on floor in living room.)

Daddy-N: “Oh man, she made a mess of her shirt with that cookie.”

OLM: “Yeah, but we’ll need to get that shirt off of her for the B-a-t-h in a minute so no big deal.” 

WST: “No sihrt, no sihrt!” and run from the room clutching shirt. Clearly she picked up on at least the “shirt off” – which she can SAY, not to mention understand.

Did I mention that her sense of personal space and dignity has kicked in?  WE are not supposed to touch or dress/undress her until SHE wants it done/is ready.

And then the other night, i could NOT get her to be quiet in bed.  We read our stories, she seemed calmed down, and then as we hit the bed, the talking started.  She sang songs (only vaguely intelligible), asked questions, identified body parts, ANYTHING but go to sleep.  How do you get through that “shhhhh” means not only “calm down-don’t cry, but also  ‘Shut your mouth and be quiet?”

How long does THAT take to sink in?

*WST – Worlds’ Smartest Toddler.  At 19 months, we need an update from WCB – World’s Cutest Baby – especially since we are trying to convince her that BIG girls don’t use a bottle, and sleep BY THEMSELVES.


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