Remember that scene in Meet the Faulkers when the little guy learns his first word from Adam Sandler? The parents come home quite dismayed to find out that their little tyke could now say "As-hoooooooole" better than any other word in the English language. Well, I thought we might have a repeat performance tonight when Geoff got home (though Geoff would surely laugh and share in the delight at her ability to speak ANY new word!). Today, my friend, Greg, and I were on a hike in Forest Park. We were talking about this and that, hiking up the hill from the St.John's bridge--Kaya was on my back in the Ergo. Greg was feeling strongly about something, and shouted out "Fu--" pretty loudly. Within seconds, Kaya similarly proclaimed, "fah!" It was quite the reminder to me that not only is she really listening to us, but she's working really hard to be able to copy what we say. The time has come to "watch our language"! =)
In general, I see great strides in the language process. I realized about half way through yesterday that Kaya was "talking" a ton! It seemed that her babbles were constant, almost like she was narrating everything she was doing. SO cute. Today, it continued like that, to a greater degree, in fact. I love it! It's like she's moving her mouth around in new ways, experimenting that much more with how it works.
The practice seems to be paying off...she's getting much better at forming the words that she hears and seems to want to express. Tonight, as we were reading a bedtime story, she was pointing at all the animals on the page: the cat, the duck, the mouse. When I said "mouse", she said "mau", which is definitely a new sound for her (au). For the past week, she's also been saying "duhh" for "duck"--a very close sound to "dah" which she says for a lot of things, including "dog", "da" (here/there), and the beginnings of "dada". Yesterday, while we were about to sit down with her for dinner, she said a very definitive "dah". "Dah" was?!, I asked her. "Da-da", she said, with affirmation. =) Maybe that counts as her first 'knock-knock' joke?
Kaya has also mastered the word "Nanah", which couldn't make my mom any happier! Today, in fact, as Kaya was sitting with her toys, playing by herself in the family room, my mom told me, "I don't have the words to express how happy I am right now." When we get to my mom's house, Kaya says "Nanah". She says it sometimes when she sees my mom, too, and when I tell her that we're going to visit her. Most often, she'll say it after I say it...regardless of when she hears it, it makes my mom smile every time, and she's glad that she 'got first pick' at the "grandma" alternatives. Kaya likes to point out the "lai" to my mom, which is what was happening here. My mom had turned the lamp on, and Kaya said "lai" when it came on.
And as far as her baby sign goes, she's learned the sign for "dog", and now pats her leg now and again when she hears me say either "Hund" or "dog". =) She loves to point at them, too, and let me know that she sees them. When she hears them bark, or their tags rattle, she will also say "dah". We can tell when she means 'dog' because she says it with a bit more emphasis than her other "dah"s. She's using the sign for "more" a bit less now, though she will often combine it with her use of the word "mehr". She also does this sign where she moves her right, open hand up and down, palm down. She usually does it while she's in her high chair. That must be her secret sign--I have yet to figure that one out. I appreciate the challenge, though!
On a different note (an input vs. output one), I was at my mom's today with Kaya, playing with her and her basket of toys. In the bottom of the basket were a bunch of wooden animals: cows, horses, chickens, and pigs (2 of each). I asked Kaya where the cow was, and within 5 seconds, she reached passed all the other animals and grabbed the COW! One might think that by now, I'd expect her to easily identify all the words I ask her, and that I'd stop being impressed with her ability to simply recognize and follow a direction. However, it's not consistent, so when it happens, it makes it clear to me that there are words that she knows, and ones that she doesn't (also, to be expected): when I asked her after that to identify the pig, for example, she paused, and then picked up the chicken (we haven't talked about pigs as much as we've talked about cows).
Well, that's all I can think of for tonight!
Thanks for sharing in my joy!