Monday, July 4, 2011

Important Words

At 18 months, Sam is developing a huge vocabulary.  I often find myself listening to her words, the words that have stuck the words that she has internalized and is now speaking, and thinking about what insight this gives into what is important in the life of a baby.

She started with the usual.  Mama.  Abi our dog came next, although then and now she seems to have a curious lack of consonants and it comes out more like Aaaaaeee.

Daddy came in due time, much to his delight.  I expected some version of Zoe's name to come early, but it was a tricky one for her, emerging much more recently.  She still doesn't have the /Z/, it's more like "Hoey"...but it's getting there.

Names are to be expected, it is the other words I find so interesting.

Very early on, "Stuck".  "Hungry".  The two things she is most often.

Food words, "Nana." (banana). "Appo" (apple).  Confirmation to me that I feed her well.  Now of course she has added "Cacu" (cracker), "Hot dog" and the ever popular "Cookie".  Well, I can't be super healthy mom all the time, can I?

I especially liked how "Peese" (please) and "Tank Tu" (thank you) made a very early appearance.  I know that good polite language is being modeled consistently in the house, not just by her mom and dad but sister as well.

Her first phrase, as I blogged about here, was "Daddy home."  But I knew her brain was really starting to understand the ways of the world when a month or two later we arrived home and she looked around..."Daddy home," she stated.  "No", I replied.  "Daddy's not home yet."  She looked at me with empathy (or maybe hunger)  "," she said.

Now her language is coming so fast I can hardly keep up.  New words not every week or day, but every hour.  Maybe faster.  She overgeneralized to create meaning when she doesn't have the words.  "Cow" she says when she sees a big four legged creature, be it a horse or moose or a cow.  I gave her a sugar snap pea today.  "Banana!" she said in delight.  "Sugar snap pea," I told her.  "Apple?"  she replied.  She understands the categories.  She's got it sorted out.

Boy oh boy, where is my baby going????