About a Word a Day

The Princess gave us a language scare a few months back. I had been unofficially counting her words, like you’re supposed to and I noticed a few words had dropped off the radar. But, when I say a few words, I mean, she only had, like, five. So if she dropped a few, that means she went down to, two or three.

I casually mentioned this to my best friend/pediatrician and she’s like, “Yeah, you really need to watch that and if she loses any more words, call your pediatrician and make an appointment right away.”

I did really well. I did not freak out. I just stepped up my word counting.

I made an excel spreadsheet.

A couple of times per month, I would keep the spreadsheet opened all day and if I heard or thought of another word that the Princess had said in the past two weeks, I would add it to the list. As a result, at our 18 month checkup, when the doctor asked me about how many words she says, I said, “Seventeen.”

He said, “You are the first parent I’ve ever had who knows the exact number.”

I told him, “I made a list.”

He was impressed.

Anyway, the Princess never lost any more words. Every month she gained one or two and in the past two weeks, it’s been like a language explosion. It’s almost like she was afraid to say anything wrong so now that she has a bit of confidence, all these little phrases are pouring out.

There are still a few words that do not connect with reality, as far as we can tell. My sister is still “Duh.” My husband’s sister is “Yaya.” And milk is “Nga-Nga”

But, the other day, she went to the refrigerator and asked for some “moat.” I opened the door and looked all around and couldn’t see anything that seemed like “moat.” So I asked her, “What is moat?”

She goes, “Nga-Nga.”

Seriously? So, she used the “baby talk” word that I knew to communicate what she meant by the real word that she can almost say?

It makes me wish I was working on my masters in Linguistics because I don’t think I would have to go to far for good language development examples. This stuff is amazing.

20120124-214737.jpgThe Princess in her new scarf, made by a sweet friend at work.

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What She Means Is…(or Goodbye Baa)

I love it when my kids make up their own words. For the entire pacifier phase, I was at odds with those who called it a “binky.” “Binky” is the brand; pacifier is the object. I hate “binky,” which I know is arbitrary in some ways. I will accept “Kleenex” for “tissue,” and even “Coke” for “soda,” but not “Binky” for “pacifier.” I wanted to be sure my kid called it a pacifier. Others thought “binky” was so cute and wanted him to call it “binky.” Others, and probably a strong majority, didn’t really care what he called it.

Well, the P fooled us all. He called it a “daglish.” We never did figure out why.

The Princess is learning about a word per day, sometime more, and her words are getting clearer. For months, when she has wanted to watch “Shaun the Sheep,” she would sit on the couch and tell us, “Wanna baa.” But over Christmas, she started saying, “Wanna ‘on the ‘eep.” We were proud and sad. I really liked to hear her say “Wanna baa.”

Then there’s the issue of “Nga-Nga.” One of her first words after the traditional “Mama” was “Nga-Nga.” This has come to mean “milk.” But even with the progress she is making with cartoon sheep names, we can’t get her to say “milk.” Even when we enunciate, “Ready? Say miiii-l-k,” she repeats back really slowly and intentionally, “nnngaaaa-nnngaa.”

The Princess is saying more and more each day.  The really special thing is that this week, BabyDaddy told her, “I love you.”  And she answered, “wuv you.”

Then, the next day, she said it to him again.

She said it to me once, but I had to beg.  It doesn’t count if you have to beg.

For those of you who were close during the Princess’s first 18 months, you know that I pretty much recieved all of the baby love.  She would hardly acknowledge her daddy’s existence.  It’s totally okay with me that he got the first “wuv you.”  I’m mostly just glad that she’s putting words together and loving her daddy.  I’m about 98% happy for BabyDaddy and 2% jealous.

And that’s the truth.