Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blah blah blah

Last year, when Bat Girl was still in the "aa...goo?" phase of verbalization, a friend with older kids told me that watching your child learn to talk is one of the coolest experiences there is. And she's right.

I'm fascinated by how Bat Girl picks up words. Sometimes she just starts saying words out of the blue--if you hear "No" often enough, I suppose it's not hard to just bust it out one day, as she did Easter weekend. (Except she pronounces it "noo," which is hilarious.) Other times you can watch her working on it. A few days ago, she pointed to the flowers on the lampshade in her room, and I IDed them as "flower" to her. Every night since, she points at the flowers and says, "Fow!" I say "Right, flower!" and she repeats back carefully, "Fo-wa!"

Most of her vocabulary is unintelligible to anyone but us ("chuc!"=truck; "tsai!"=outside="Hold me up to the window so I can look at the chucs, lady!"). Because of the random nature of our reading material and toys and our city life, she has what is probably a somewhat unusual vocabulary for a toddler. She says "shark" and "penguin" but not "cow" or "pig," "truck" and "BIG car!" but not "apple" or, frankly, "Mama." (She says mamamama but doesn't consistently say "Mama" the way she she says "Da-ee!", dammit.)

She listens carefully, so I've had to cut down on my swearing--a month or two ago I dropped something and said "Shit!" and she promptly parroted back, "Shit!" Or I'll say something like, "Are you going to sleep better tonight?" and she'll say back, "Niiight?" in the exact singsong ickle-bickle tone I used.

The other fun thing is, of course, teaching her stupid baby tricks. Like how, if you sing the Blue's Clues mail song to her, she'll chime in at the end, "Maaiiiii!" complete with jazz hands. My husband especially enjoys teaching her things in secret and then busting them out to surprise me. A week ago we were all hanging out in bed and he said, "Hey [Bat Girl,] KARATE!" and she immediately responded, "CHOP!" complete with chopping hand motion. I nearly peed my pants laughing.

The downside is that despite her extensive vocabulary, she is still 14 months old, and still has trouble communicating the most basic of things. Or rather, I understand perfectly that when she reaches up for my glasses, sitting on the bathroom counter, and lets out a wordless whine, she would like to grab and mangle them. But no dice, kid. And I understand that when she stands outside the gate shutting her out of the kitchen and lets out a series of high-pitched, supersonic shrieks, she means something along the lines of, "Stop messing around with breakfast and come pay attention to ME! And/or let me in there so I can snack on cat food!" And I foresee many more toddler meltdowns along the lines of what we've been experiencing lately, where she'll demand her "CUP!" and then when you give her said cup, she screams and turns her head as if offered a poisoned chalice. And then plunges into despair when you take the cup away, sobbing "cuuuup...." Yeah, I'm guessing we'll hit the terrible twos early, here.


I keep meaning to post a monthly update on Bat Girl but I can't seem to get it together--I still have thirteen and fourteen months sitting in my draft box--so this will have to do for now...



Blogger Becky said...


She sounds like Alex.


5:25 PM  
Blogger MsPrufrock said...

The language aspect of their development is amazing. P has started saying "There he is!", which, said in P-speak, is more like "Thewawee!", but whatever. It's still impressive stuff.

As for the poisoned chalice thing, it only gets better, hahaha. There's me with the assvice. Again.

5:58 PM  
Blogger MoMo said...

It is amazing watching them learn words or at least attempt to say them. I can't wait until we can actually have a conversation with them!

And the tantrums...well I don't have any assvice since I am also trying to figure out how to deal with it. let me know once you figure it out.

BTW, how did the interview go?

8:45 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I couldn't remember where I found you, but I have you on my blogroll. Reading your other comments, I see it must have been Becky's. LOL.

I have an almost thirteen month old who also treats me as her cup b*itch as she slings milk and snot everywhere when her stupid mother doesn't dance and sing when serving her dinner.

Very funny!

11:27 PM  
Blogger TeamWinks said...

Sounds like she's growing up by leaps and bounds!

9:14 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

I am loving watching the language development too. We've only started getting in-context things this last week. Like "woof" for a dog and 'Ta".

Jasper practises his words silently, mouthing them to himself before he gets the courage to say it out loud. It's very cute.

9:24 AM  
Blogger sara said...

What you said about saying "shit" is hilarious! I've kind of been a lurker on your blog for awhile, sorry it's taken me awhile to comment. It always makes me feel better to see another person with a unicornuate end up with a successful pregnancy (even though the pregnancy can be bumpy) - it sure gives me some hope. So thanks for sharing your ride up until now.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous statia said...

Mine only says "car" "choo choo" baa, moo (oooo) quack, and neigh (eeee). His verbal skills are kind of lacking, but he's so intent on mastering the walking the way normal people walk. You'd think after nearly 3.5 months of walking, he'd a. stop looking like a god damn drunkard, and b. he'd be over walking, but no.

And I worry, sometimes, but the thing is, I know he understands far more than he lets on. My kid is very good at playing dumb.

12:48 AM  

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