Wednesday, June 21, 2006

New Vocabulary Emerges during the Summer

When you throw kids into a new experience, their mind has a growth spurt. Summer is full of new places and new acts of bravery--for Richie, learning how to swim, for J.J., standing up by himself, and for Johnny, hanging out with the big kids at the pool.

Their vocabulary has grown as a result of this. They just don't know the definitions yet.

For instance, yesterday, on the way to swim lessons, Richie, 3, announced, "I have to go peepee. So...that's interesting."

Johnny, 5, remarked while watching an ad on T.V., "I didn't know that McDonald's abducted Cartoon Network."

When my aunt Mo offered him a bag of Cheetos he said, "No, thanks. They're too collectable."

What do you mean, we asked him.

"We'll eat them all in one day," he said.

J.J., meanwhile, learned his first baby sign language word. Not surprisingly, it is "eat--" holding his fingertips to his lips. I was rolling up turkey cold cuts for the boys when he stopped crawling to do this.

I also tried to teach him "more," which is putting your fingertips in the palm of your hands and "hold me," which is holding your hands out.

But instead, he says, "MMMMMM!" when he wants anything.

I try to guess what he's asking for. "More juice?" I ask, doing the sign for drink. "Get down?" I guess, holding my hands out. "Milk?" I say, acting likeI'm milking a cow.

He looks at me as if to say, "Okay, I don't know what the protocol is here. I'm not familiar with your culture. I don't speak your language. I just want a can of rootbeer. And I'd like to play with daddy's cell phone. And throw your car keys in the trash. And pull all the books off the shelf and dump out the box of crayons. What's the baby sign for that?"

Then he claps.

The beauty of baby talk is that if you sing Patty Cake they totally forget what they were going to say. So...that's collectable.


Anonymous Sheila - one of your many blog fans said...

Hilarious! My 17-month old was furiously signing at me the other day for more blueberries, but his daycare people forgot to tell me what the sign was. (tapping the fingertips of your hands together) He kept doing this and while yipping "ma!" "ma!" which I suppose meant "more!" "more!" I finally figured it out and he ate half a pint of blueberries, which made for several unpleasant diaper changes.

2:18 PM  

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