Archive for Language

Linguistic Milestones and Triumphs

Going to bed very soon over here. Baby Diva has been doing lots of growing up and she wants to keep practicing at night.

She’s been walking all over the place and brings me my shoes and the sling when she wants to go outside.

For a while she’s been “quacking” whenever you ask her what sound a duck makes. Captain Dad, joker that he is, has also taught her to sound like a “demonic duck” (quacking, but in a throaty, gravelly voice).

Daddy also likes to amuse us by mispronouncing words. I imagine I’ll have some interesting conversations later with her Kindergarten teacher: “No, she doesn’t have a speech impediment. She just has a father with a dry wit.”

I’m also very interested to see how she’ll use other languages. We incorporate a good bit of Spanish and a little Russian into our days and she definitely has a basic vocabulary in each, even when words are brought up in different contexts.

Right now, though, she’s just starting to expand her repertoire of spoken words. Her grandfather swears he hears her parroting what I say but mostly it sounds like gibberish to me. For me to call it a word, it has to be crystal clear. Maybe I should give her more credit.

Every once in a while, she’ll turn to me and say, “I love you, mama.” But, much like Michigan J Frog, she’ll give no encore for a larger audience.

Today she treated me to actually saying “duck” when she saw the picture in the book. She was very proud to be able to show off her new found verbal skills tonight to Daddy, and even held something in reserve for him. Tonight she triumphantly pronounced “Moo” and “Baa” when she saw the appropriate bovine and ovine creatures during Daddy’s command reading of “The Big Red Barn.”

Of course, she still points to your breast pocket whenever you say “sheep.” Daddy likes to wear Brooks Brothers polo shirts. I caught her giggling last time she did it so I think her insistence that sheep live on people’s chests is another example of her wicked sense of humor. She knows that mommy really wants her to point to the picture of the sheep so she persists in being contrary just for the laugh.

Well, it’s pajama time and the moon is sailing high in the dark night sky so goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere…

Where’s the Kitten?

If you check out Mamanista, you know that I’ve been trying to introduce Baby Diva to other languages, specifically Spanish and Russian.

One of her favorite new books is Where’s the Kitten? (English/Russian bilingual edition). I’ve been reading it in Russian and Captain Dad reads it in English. When I ask “Gye Zhe Kotyonok?” she squeals and points to the kitten. At first she found it easier to find the kitten when it was standing solo. After a little while, though, she had no trouble finding the kitten in a box of toys (which cuddly creature IS the kitten) and in a bag of groceries (he’s hiding…but THERE’S the kitten!).

Then we tried a different book, that refers to the feline as a “cat.” “Where’s the kitten?” No problem. She points right to it. How about the horse? Simple, mommy. Wow.

Whenever we stump her (please point to the sheep), she squeals we delight as we identify the correct animal or object for her.

So we’ve been trying a few other items. A couple of days ago she went and fetched “The Pirate Ship” and “The Ball” from a big box of toys.

ETA: Oh, I forgot my favorite part. We asked her to point to “Daddy’s ring,” even though we had not really used the word “ring” with her before. She looked puzzled so I hinted that “it is gold and shiny.” And just like that, she pointed right to it!

This is probably completely normal, and I understand that they comprehend a fairly large vocabulary at this point, but color me impressed.