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Modern Perspectives, Motherhood, Young Married Mom

July 12, 2012

An Ever-Expanding Vocabulary

Parents ask each other harmless questions at the playground all the time: How old is yours? Is s/he crawling, talking, walking yet? I’ve come to find that while the crawl and walk responses are clear-cut yeses or nos, the question of talking is a little more complicated. If you mean “talking” in the same way you mean “sleep through the night”—for the record, I like my “night” to be longer than five or six hours—then yes, Jacob is talking. A lot.


At Jacob’s eighteen-month well visit, the doctor told us she expected a “word explosion” before his next visit, at his second birthday.


* Let’s take a moment and consider the reality that Jacob’s second birthday is a mere two months away. Breathe. Breathe. Okay. We’re cool. *


I rarely doubt modern medicine, and this episode makes no exception.


What I’m enjoying most is seeing how he takes the words he’s simply repeated after me and begins to employ them in what he sees as the appropriate context.



Take, for example, “tan two,” or “thank you.” Last night he said it to John when he put him down to sleep. This morning he said it to me when I opened the door for us to leave the house. On the other hand, he also said it over and over as he gave me food he “cooked” in the play kitchen today. And yesterday, when he brought me six pairs of socks from his drawer.


Another that he’s twisted in context is “oh no/uh oh,” which are sometimes used interchangeably. Like when he was first signing “all done,” these phrases have come to mean “something is on the floor,” whether it was by accident or not. Usually not.


There is one phrase that he has always gotten right: “pedot,” or “play dough.” Making homemade play dough is simple and cheap, and it keeps very well. Jacob loves it. But when he asks to play with it, he repeats a word that, to John at least, sounds like “badonk.” The result therein is that “Honky Tonk Bedonkadonk” gets stuck in my head every time. And now it’s in yours. Sorry.


Jacob’s sense of humor may not be entirely intentional quite yet, but when he’s not asking to do something like “turn air condition on” or “turn air condition off” (which consumes more than enough of our day), this little man cracks me up.


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