Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Greek to Me

Gracie has begun to jabber. It is one of my favorite toddler milestones. She will stand and look at you earnestly, telling you all about... something. I just don't know what. That's the problem with two year olds. They have a lot to say, and not a lot of words to say it.

"Did you get all that?"
She's getting pretty good at imitating our words, and can say some things very clearly. The clearest are Cee (the letter) and Amen! She says "sheep" then lays down, closes her eyes, and pretends to nap. She also yells "Coo, coo!" when she spots Blue's Clue, and says "choo choo!" when she hears a train. Clue and Choo are remarkably similar, as you would expect. They aren't the only ones.There are some that are rather difficult to translate.

Cow sounds a lot like car. Car sounds a lot like cold. Usually this isn't a problem, as you can discern from the situation what she's trying to say. Unless you're traveling through the back country roads in December and pass a dairy. Then it could be a problem.

There's also milk and Mark. When she says "Mik", I try not to say "milk"... because if she was trying to say Mark, and I chime in with "Milk", her face suddenly changes. A new idea has been presented, and she is no longer interested in her brother, but gets a big grin on her face and says "Pease mik more?" And then I'm stuck saying, "No, not right now honey." Which makes me feel like a bit of a cad, seeing as how I'm the one that brought up the whole milk thing - she had just been talking about her brother.

Next we have baby. Which sounds (surprisingly) a lot like pee pee. Which sounds like purple. Which sounds like Papa. Basically, if it starts with the letter "P", you get the drift. This gets tricky, as she is more than happy to have you take her to the nearest potty, just for a change of scene. If you say "pee pee?" and she was saying "purple", now you have to stop what you were doing and find the nearest bathroom. Not good.

Sometimes her words come with clues. For example, if a baby is crying, she'll say "Baby. Wah. Baby. Wah." This is quite helpful in avoiding an unnecessary trip to the restroom. Other times, she'll say "Pee Pee?" and tap on her diaper. This is also pretty straightforward. It's the times she's watching Blue's Clues after downing her second sippy cup of milk, and she says "pee pee". Or is it "puppy"? We're still unsure. Therefore, whenever a word that starts with "P" is presented, we do our best to run through all of the other possibilities in the hopes to avoid an unnecessary trip to the potty - a word she never says.

And finally, there are words that we have NO IDEA what she is trying to get across. She tries so hard to get us to understand. I'm sure she thinks we are morons, as she is clearly communicating something we have taught her, and yet here we are, pretending we don't understand.

She reminds me of a foreigner trying to talk to a native. She just says it louder and slower. We still don't get it. We respond with various words (trying to avoid any that involve food or a trip to the bathroom) and hope we get it right. If we don't, she eventually just shrugs and gives up, moving on to the next thing. It's rumored this scenario repeats itself when they become teenagers.

Another word she says very clearly: Yay!
When we stick it out, and finally do understand a new word, Gracie and I are both giddy with excitement. We find ourselves repeating the word to each other multiple times, just to get it "set" in our minds. Re-learning the English language with Gracie has been a lot of fun and has us asking for "More pease!"

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