Monday, October 6, 2008

More Proud Daddy News

Ok, I tend not to get comments from these kinds of posts--most likely because y'all are probably gagging yourselves as you read them. Tough. My blog, my rules. :-)

Two more things happened today that made me really, really proud to be the Daddy of my kids.

First: the Happy Boy. Now, this kid is about twenty months old. Most kids, by this age, are starting to mouth words--especially animals (cat, dog, cow), vehicles (car, truck), favorite toys (ball), favorite people (Mamma, Daada), and various food-related terms (more, no). But for some reason the Happy Boy seems to be something of the strong silent type. Minus the "silent" part, generally; but he doesn't say a whole lot.

He has a few vocalizations: "maaamaaaa", which sounds like he's trying to say "mommy", actually means he wants food. I suspect that it's linguistically related to the phrase, More! more! When we try to give him food, it's often in the context of "Would you like some more?" so we suspect he's equated the word "more" with whatever you put on his plate.

And he has the word "ball" down. And he refers to the picture of Uncle Paul as "ball", as well, which is something. But for the most part, he doesn't use words to communicate.

That is, he understands absolutely everything that we're saying to him; but he seems to think that we're supposed to read his mind and body language. And truth be told, this usually works. He's pretty direct about what he wants.

But! We've noticed a talent developing.

You see, he loves his videos, and the videos he wants the most these days are the Leap Frog videos that I've mentioned in previous posts--especially the Letter Factory, which covers basic phonics (consonant and short vowel sounds).

And this little, non-speaking 20-month-old is learning the sounds of his letters.
Daddy: So, can you tell me the sound of the letter F?

Happy Boy: Fffffffffff... (with plenty of spit)

D: And can you tell me the sound of the letter P?

HB: P'uh! (more spit)

D: And what about the letter A?

HB: Aaaaaaa! (as he runs away. The effect is best if you imagine a severe Doppler shift....)
This last one is pretty funny. In the Letter Factory, the way Professor Quigley teaches the young letter A's their proper sound, is that he jumps out at them in a monster suit, and they all scream, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

Well, today the Happy Boy came running into the kitchen where Mommy was, yelling, "AAAAAAaaaa!" while clutching something in his hand. Mommy, startled, asked him what the trouble was. Then he grinned a big grin and handed her the letter "A" puzzle piece he was holding.

This kid is going to be reading before he talks, at the rate he's going.

It's gotten to the point that we're almost afraid to hand him hymnals at church. We're afraid he might open one at random to the song "A Mighty Fortress", see the first letter, and proudly proclaim "AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaa!" right in the middle of communion or something.


Ok, here's the other one. This one involves the Adrenaline Junkie, our three-year-old daughter.

She was negotiating with us tonight at the dinner table. She had gotten it in her head that we need a swingset in our backyard. In fact, it would be really, really cool if it were a tire swing.

And silly us, we were trying to give mere reasons that a swingset wouldn't be a good idea. That is, we were trying to reason with a three-year-old. That never works.

But! We got the distinct impression that our three-year-old was trying to reason with us. And one of the ways that you can tell our three-year-old is trying to reason with us, is that she starts using big words (usually of Latin derivation). That's right, she inherently knows that certain words sound Big and Important, and if you use these words, it makes your argument more authoritative.

So: imagine the cutest little three-year-old girl you can think of, speaking very seriously in her sweet, high-pitched three-year-old voice, trying to remind you of all the benefits one gains by having one's own tire swing. And she finishes her spiel with the line:
Isn't that a possibility?
Yep, Just think of the possibility. Just think what happens when this three-year-old, who's using five-syllable-words at age three, finally turns 12. Assuming a linear relationship between age and word length, she'll be using twenty-syllable-words on us by then, and we'll never win an argument through unadulterated logic ever again.

And where in the world did she pick up the idea that Latin-derived words are more authoritative and help you win arguments?

Um, hm... maybe I need to go wash my mouth out with soap.

1 comment:

B. Durbin said...

One of my earliest memories is of me proclaiming that the rabbit "went under the swing diagonally." At my mother's astonishment, I asked, "Didn't I use it right?"