Saturday, May 24, 2008

Overcoming the Language Barrier

Finally, the switch has flipped! After months of my youngest daughter constantly saying, "Lulu bus!" mixed in with some indistinguishable baby babble and a lot of pointing and frustration, all of a sudden this past week she is beginning to speak our language! It is amazing to me to realize that children just soak up everything around them and when they are ready, they will surprise you with either their grasp of language, or a new skill, or whatever else they have up their sleeve!

Within the last week, my baby (she'll be 2 in July but she will always be my baby!) went from "Lulu bus!" to "Mommy, where is Daddy?" and while playing with her babies this afternoon, "Ok baby, nap time!"

Now, she isn't just speaking in full sentences, but her vocabulary has expanding considerably in the last week or so! She is able to tell us "Ha cog" (which actually sounds a lot more like Hot Dog when she says it), like at dinner tonight when her sister begged to have pasta for dinner and we gave them both pasta, and my little one ate a few bites and then handed her bowl to me and said, "Ha cog, Mommy!" Ok, that is communication! She put forth a message, I received it and was able to understand it and address her needs -- excellent! We had salad with our dinner tonight, and she likes grape tomatoes and cucumbers, and I thought I'd throw in some romaine lettuce. She picked up a piece, put it in her mouth, and then took it out and put it back on her plate. I said, "Oh, you didn't like that?" And she shook her head no and replied, "Sorry, Mommy!" Ok, I understood that, too!

Now, we try to speak clearly in front of her and she also hears her sister speak (all the time!), so I'm sure she is gathering all of this up for later use. Some of the things she says, we think are so cute and we don't always correct her -- like ha cog. But pretty soon we will get to the point that we did with her older sister, where we realized as cute as it is to hear her say, "Pack Pack" instead of backpack, we can't very well have her carrying her high school social studies books to school in a "Pack Pack." So, when she would say something incorrectly (and this still happens, but with tougher words) we would say, "Oh, do you mean ______ ?" And fill in the correct pronunciation. It really helped build her vocabulary tremendously!

But for now, I'm excited that my little one learned the word "Hunry" (hungry) and could actually come up and tell me when she was hungry for lunch today! Communication -- it's a beautiful thing!

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