M. Giant's
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Sunday, May 07, 2006  

Word Up

M. Small is at the age where he learns a new word almost every day. According to the list we've been keeping, he's got more than sixty overall. That's if we count sound effects, words he hasn't said for a while, and "E-I-E-I-O." Which we're totally counting.

They're written in three columns on a sheet of printer paper. Bitter was over the other night, and she saw it on the center island, picked it up, and looked at it. "Do you like my story?" I said. I don't think she heard me.

As of this weekend, he's got four words for food, whereas he originally only had one: "cookie." A few weeks ago he also learned "peas," which believe it or not he actually likes more than cookies (freak). And he also knows Jell-O, which is surprising considering it's not something he eats all that often. Maybe once every week or two. But can he say "milk" or "toast?" Nope. This weekend he learned his fourth food word, "apple." He pronounces it "AP-ohhh," of course, and it seems to apply to all fruit, but it counts.

He's also got a more general food word, which is "hungry." He pronounces it similar to the way he pronounces "honey" and "hurry," which are also words that he uses when we're getting a meal ready for him. Probably because Trash and I use those last two words a lot with each other at those times.

He's also learning the names of colors. He was watching a Baby Einstein video a couple of weeks ago, the one where there's a little vignette for each color. The little girl on the screen said "purple." M. Small responded, "Puh-pohhh." His first color. I think that's probably true of all children in Minneapolis. You know, because of Prince.

He doesn't know many adjectives yet, but a new one he learned this week is "heavy." He was at my mom's for the evening, and he kept picking up stuff off her coffee table and saying, "Heavy." Unfortunately, I wasn't there to see him messing with my mom's stuff and to say, "Then put it down, genius."

He can only say the name of one of our cats. Naturally it's Turtle (or "TURT-ohhh"). But today, when he and I and the neighbors were hanging out in the back yard, he also learned the name of their ginormous chocolate lab, Oscar. He understands the "Can you say_____" construction, well enough that sometimes he'll be convinced to pronounce a word that I'm not sure he understands. The rest of the time he'll just sort of smile shyly, like he's flattered that we think he could aspire to something as lofty as saying Strat's name. But once he managed to get one "AHK-guhhhh" out, he just couldn't stop.

Trash came out a minute later.

"New word," I said in that way that I hope doesn't mean we're getting jaded.

"What?" she said.

"AHK-guhhhh!" M. Small said.

"That," I said.

"What?" she said.

I started to tell M. Small to say it again, but by that time he was already saying it. Trash understood it this time, possibly helped along by his laser-like focus on the giant dog in the driveway.

He spent a fair proportion of the morning yelling at Oscar from on the deck. That's pretty much the only way he ever hears Oscar's name, because whenever they're outside together Oscar wants nothing more than to go up to M. Small, lower his head, and lick my son on the face. Today M. Small got his revenge by yelling over and over again, "AHK-guhhhh! No! AHK-guhhh! AKH-guhhh! AKH-guhhhh! No!"

He couldn't get enough of that. In fact when I was putting him into his PJs tonight, he gave up his usual flailing and just lay on the changing table, glaring and shaking his finger at a spot on the ceiling, repeating. "AHK-guhhh! No!"





We're really glad that he hasn't figured out yet that he could try that word on us.

Trash is no longer "Mama," for some reason. She's graduated to "Mommy." From there it's only a matter of time before he starts calling her "Mom," "Mother," and/or "Jeez, maahm!"

And "Mommy" was also part of his very first complete, grammatically correct sentence, which he uttered Thursday. "I want Mommy!" he sobbed into her shoulder as she held him tightly. Maybe he's not entirely clear on the meaning, but there was a subject, and object and a verb, so it counts. Also, it wasn't so much Thursday night as Friday morning, at about 1:30, and he'd woken up with some cold symptoms. So like some of his other milestones, it was a bittersweet moment. He couldn't say it happily, at six in the evening?

It's like another one that came out of the blue last week. I was snacking in the kitchen and he came in and asked, "Cookie, peeee?" ("Peeeee?" Is how he says "please"). I handed him a cracker and said, "There you go." As he turned and toddled away from me with his prize, he said, "Ankyoo."

Totally blew my mind, just like the first time he said "please" out of nowhere. We sure hadn't started teaching him "thank you" yet. We didn't think he was ready. They must keep those kids polite at day care or something.

That sheet of typing paper is almost half-full, and one of my fears is that he'll start learning words faster than we can keep up with them. But then I realize that this time next year, I'll be able to have conversations with my son.

That might be a little weird when I'm changing his diaper at the same time.

posted by M. Giant 7:56 PM 10 comments


Ahhhhhh! That's it -- I'm getting me one of those!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 7, 2006 at 8:23 PM  

Oh my god, that was cute. What a great way to start the morning - thanks. And how great that you're writing everything down; we didn't (confident of our superior brains and all) and now we can't remember a damned thing about either child. It's a wonder we remember to pick them up every day.

By Blogger Sweetie Darling, at May 8, 2006 at 4:11 AM  

Cute, cute! We wrote down all of our daughter's first words too (she was a slightly late talker so we were keeping track for the therapist). Once she hit 97 words (at 22 months) they were coming at a rate of 10-15 a day and I just couldn't keep up. Having conversations with a toddler is the best, though! You have a lot to look forward too!

By Blogger Katie, at May 8, 2006 at 6:07 AM  

No, no. Not because of Prince. I hate to break it to you, but you're raising a Vikings fan. Poor kid.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 8, 2006 at 6:50 AM  

See I was going to be even more negative than saying "Vikings" for Prince, and point out the whole Barney conspiracy that creeps into the toddler lifestyle, even when the parents try to protect from it. All kids seem to pick up purple, when Barney is that color.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 8, 2006 at 9:13 AM  

My goddaughter has a cat named Oscar, and her third word (after mama and dada) was OX-ahhhhr. Or, yes, Oscar. Everytime the poor thing heard "OX-ahhhr!" from the other room he would jump straight to the top of his kittie tree. They have since made amends and are now friends, though the kittie tree is still his sanctuary.

By Blogger lumenatrix, at May 8, 2006 at 9:55 AM  

M. Giant, would you stop making my ovaries twitch, please? Like working in a neonatal ICU wasn't enough, geeeez.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 8, 2006 at 10:24 AM  

At just over one year old, Sam says "Da" for "Dad" and "Daw" for "Dobbs" (our dog). He says both these words with happy excitement. And how does he say "Ma"? Usually angrily, because it means he wants me to do something and I haven't snapped to it quickly enough. Kids.

By Blogger Tammy, at May 8, 2006 at 8:34 PM  

Do you read Dooce? Because I think M. Small should marry the little girl over there -- her current language development is almost as cute as M. Small's.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 9, 2006 at 8:30 AM  

What's with toddlers and purple?! Lucas is 2, and he's fascinated with the color purple... I think it's because of his favorite of The Wiggles, Jeff. It figures that his favorite would be the lamest one whose "thing" is that he sleeps all the time!

Kat from jersey

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 16, 2006 at 2:06 PM  

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