The views of a rabble-rouser and former stay-at-home dad on protests, politics, parenthood, groupthink, and music.
Monday, March 03, 2008
The Things He Says @ 33 Months
Once, we had a sticky note that listed all of the words that we'd heard Oliver say. Once upon a time - when he was around two years old - we wanted to make sure his verbal skills were developing on target. So we started listing the words he'd said, because at that age he was supposed to develop between 50 and 100 words in his vocabulary.
We filled up a sticky note with about thirty words, and quickly went to another. We ended up with seventy words before we ran out of room on the second, and decided that he was developing fine.
And then we just lost the ability to keep up with the flood of new words.
I don't talk much about Oliver's speech development anymore because he's such a moving target. As soon as I sit down to write about the new speech patterns he's developed, he's moved on to new and more exciting speech patterns. (Plus, there's the exhaustion. That's the other reason I don't blog much about his development.)
But here's where he stands, at 2 years, 9 months. Now, none of this may seem like big, groundbreaking stuff to you - the big adult, who knows who to form articulate sentences and read on your own and stuff. But we've watched him develop to this point, from a kid that was speaking in grunts and gasps less than two years ago. He started learning words a year ago, ladies and gentlemen. Just a couple of months ago, in fact, none of these things were coming out of his mouth. These are all very recent, and all surprising, developments.
1) Big Words. He used to have trouble with multi-syllable words. Now, he not only understands them, but he can parrot them back instantly. "Recognize" was one that he got immediately. "Complicated" was another. Tonight, it was "mozzarella." I think he just enjoys the sound of certain words and keeps saying them so he can get used to the feel of them. It's his way of branding the words into his little brain.
2) Opposites. Sounds like a small step, but he will flip around statements using opposite words. If one of us is cold, he proclaims that he's hot. If something is short, he'll point to something else and announce that it's tall. Seems like a big step.
He also understands the concept of intensifiers and uses them to hilarious effect. He was building a long line of blocks on our living room floor, and started telling us that it was going to be "a very very very very very very very lo-o-o-ong line."
3) Catch phrases. No kidding. He falls in love with phrases and uses them at the oddest moments. Sample catch phrases:
"I need that!"
"There's no way!" (As in, "dere's no way the kitty can jump onto da counter. Dere's no way, kitty! Dere's no way!")
"I'm having trouble!" (He was working on a puzzle one day, and hollered out to me, "Daddy, please help me with da puzzle! I'm having trouble!")
4) Sentences. He can assemble a sentence with all the right parts: a subject, a verb, some adjectives sprinkled around in more or less the right places. A couple of months ago, we would ask him to "please" when making a request. Now, we tell him to form a question.
"Mommy, read story, read story, read story!"
"Oliver, ask me the right way."
"No, make it a question. Please, mommy, can you read me a story?"
"Mommy please can read me story."
Like I said, most of the words land in the right place.