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Thursday, March 02, 2006  

Talking Points, Part TWO!

Since the last time I wrote about M. Small's vocabulary, it's grown quite a bit. In fact, he now has more words in his arsenal than months on this earth. Not that I'm going to list them all here or anything. Just my favorites.

Baby: This isn't a new word, but the meaning of it has expanded to include not only himself, but every other baby and every representation thereof. Including this one. We don't really encourage him to use it in reference to himself; we figure that once you're old enough to say "baby," you technically aren't one any more.

Puppy: All dogs, or representations thereof. Still a little patchy on this one, though. He was with me last night when we went to get cat food at the vet's. There was a dog in the waiting room, and I acted like an idiot, pointing it out and going, "Look, M., what's that? What's that there? Can you say 'puppy'?" And then the dog was gone taken in back to have its nads removed or whatever, its presence uncommented on by M. Small because he was too surprised by the new surroundings. But in the time it took to get to the register with Strat's special diabetic kitty food, he found his tongue and pointed to the tiny ceramic dog on the counter and said, "Puppy." I can only hope the real dog's feelings weren't hurt.

E-I-E-I-O. M. Small's part of the frequent musical duets he sings with his mom. His favorite verse is the one about the cow. Since that was the first animal he ever identified (not counting the "keedies,") we've gotten him several new books about cows. Which, right when they come out of the envelope, he points to and goes "Cow! Moo!" One day he's going to meet an actual cow and it's going to be like those old Beatles newsreels.

P.U.: There are some words we've been trying to teach him forever, and that he never seems to get the hang of. And yet he picked this up in one morning from his mom. Guess what she was doing at the time.

Hot: Anything he's not allowed to touch, which, in most cases, are indeed hot. Hey, as long as the "don't touch" message gets through somehow, we don't care about the phrasing. We assume that by the time he figures out that the catbox isn't literally hot, he'll understand the other reasons for leaving it alone.

Hoddie: We have no idea what this means. For a while, I tried to convince Trash that he was saying, "happy," as in "I am a happy baby, and you two are great parents." She wasn't buying it, though. And then he stopped saying it. So that must not have been what he meant after all.

Two: It's not that he understands the concept of numbers or counting yet. All he knows is that every once in a while, Mom or Dad will chant "One...two...THREE!" and sweep him off his feet for hugs and tickles. We think that the way he hollers "TWO!" is his way of triggering the process on his own. And really, who are we to deny him?

Pretty: Variously pronounced "pwee" or "prwee" or simply "peee," he first said this word while admiring the snow globes we had out on display at Christmastime. He loved them so much that we left the decorations out until last month. It had nothing to do with our laziness. Nothing at all. Fortunately, flowers, decorations, and Trash are still proclaimed "pwee" on a semi-regular basis. Because "pee" has become...

Please: We hadn't even started teaching him this yet, but he appears to have picked it up at day care. We certainly aren't complaining; in fact we're taking this ball and running with it. Any word that allows him to ask for things that isn't "cookie" or "uh-oh" is fine by us.

Bus: Although he's able to use the different words for "car" and "truck" and has been for a while, the big yellow buses that show up at the school across the street are just too exciting for him to address as anything but "OOOOH!"

Hockey: Now this one had us stumped. Neither Trash nor I is a hockey fan, and as far as we can tell, neither is he. I pitched the "happy" theory again, but had to give it up when he actually started saying "happy." And then it hit me: he's saying aqui, the Spanish word for "here!" But Trash shot that one down too; as far as we know, there are no Dora the Explorer videos at day care. Finally I asked the day care lady if they watch old North Stars highlight reels or something. But apparently one of the older kids is a hockey fan, and M. Small may have picked the word up from him. Which is kind of a relief; I'm not ready to be a hockey dad yet.

And while he's not yet speaking in complete sentences, he is able to put a couple of words together. Like "Go! Car!" and in case we don't get it, he usually brings us his coat as he's saying it. So it's only a matter of time before I can hand the site over to him. I'm thinking two, three months, tops.

Don't worry, I'll still help him post pictures.

Today's best search phrase: "How to make washcloth lollipops." What, you can't buy washcloth-flavored lollipops where you live? Sheesh.

posted by M. Giant 8:25 PM 8 comments


I was thinking, when I saw the "Hoddie" entry, that it was there instead of "Hockey," and I was all prepared to point out that the word is totally "hockey." Which it is. But I couldn't tell you why.

He says it clear as day, people: "Hockey."

By Blogger Linda, at March 2, 2006 at 8:55 PM  

One of our son's first words sounded like *fair* which we didn't understand at all. Fair, as in the county fair? Or life isn't fair? Or like a bus fare? And why?

Eventually we realized he was trying to say *hair*, but it stumped us for quite a while.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 2, 2006 at 9:07 PM  

HOckey was my brother's first word, actually, but we are good Canadians so that's just par for the course.

Mine was actually a phrase, because I was a child genius - Mummy-Old-Bag, which my dad taught me. My mom was not thrilled.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 3, 2006 at 6:23 AM  

I think he's saying "hottie." It's what the kids these days call an attractive member of the opposite sex. "Fox" and "stud muffin" are, apparently, considered outdated now.

By Blogger Unknown, at March 3, 2006 at 9:02 AM  

I like to think of kids' first words as an indication of the concepts that are so important to them that they must verbalized. So you've got a polite, hockey-loving kid who-um-likes cows. (Perhaps the theory needs fine-tuning.)
Anyway. I live in Mexico and my friend's baby kept shouting "dále, dále" which means "hit it." We were worried for child protection services until we figured out it was a holdover from the Christmas season with the song they sing for the piñatas. Poor kid was trying to let us know she could sing the song now and she was ready for her candy!

By Blogger Caro, at March 3, 2006 at 10:37 AM  

You should consider yourself lucky. My brother's first word was "light!" - complete with figuring out how to use the switches.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 5, 2006 at 3:19 PM  

when my cousin was about m small's age he would say frog, but it would come out sounding like f*ck. that was fun :-)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 5, 2006 at 5:36 PM  

My brother is 17 months, and has like a fifteen-word English vocabulary, which is fine. Our issue is, since we were so desperate to be able to communicate with him, he also has a small sign language vocabulary and twenty recognizable non-words that he made up that are only recognizeable for the immediate family: "gee" for "light" and "hotcha" for "look at me," and so on. Meanwhile, his gramma is teaching him Chinese. Vocabulary train-wreck, is what he is. I love this stage, though. You really figure out what's important to them by what they need to name: Grapes, Videos, and Dad are big hits with my brother, for example.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 6, 2006 at 8:11 AM  

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