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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Intonations

The boy may have a smaller vocabulary than the girl did at this age but he is still quite capable of making himself heard.

He has his frequently used words like mama, dada, nana (for banana and any other food). He has some words that he likes to pull out occasionally like baby and papa. He seems to be trying to say the girls name. At least that is what we all think the cries of maaaa are. My favorite thing to hear is his newest word: yie-ah!

I say yeah a lot. Is it time for lunch? the girl will ask me. Yeah I'll say. Am I going to school today? she'll ask me. Yeah I'll reply. I guess it was only a matter of time before a little boy learnt to say that word too.

He manages to say it much cuter than I do. My yeah is flat and nasal. Slurred together. His is high pitched. Broken down into two distinct syllables. Like a cowboy might call out from the back of his trusty horse before he heads out to round up a heard of cattle for the night. Yie-ah!

Despite all these words at his disposal, the boy's greatest form of communication comes from different pronunciations of uh and ah. A short grunt of uh accompanied by a head nod means yes. A long drawn out uh, heavy on the u, means no. Rapid fire yells of ah, you can practically see the exclamation marks in the air, are his way of telling us he wants something. When he lingers over the word, making it sound as if it is sixteen letters long, he would like us to please hurry up and hand him that toy/ piece of apple/ sharp knife he shouldn't have.

I am excited to see what word he will learn next. Dreading and anticipating when he can say no to me. But I will miss these sounds he makes now. Simple sounds but each intonation is heavy with meaning.

2 comments:

  1. My little guy has very few words. He makes a panting sound for dog (or any animal), he shouts 'Da!' for dad, and he's recently started saying Mama. But he's also good at getting his desires across. It's amazing how effectively they can communicate without any of the skills that we would consider essential to the task.

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  2. My fav of Clara's is "uh-oh"... it is usually followed by her intentionally dropping something from the high chair. She has already learned to shake her head and say "nein" (somehow she speaks german?). So only very recently did I suceed in getting her to mimic a nod and "yah". She also figured out very quickly that these two are related... so if I nod and say yes... she laughs and shakes "nah". Another fav is "oggie" (for the dog of course)!

    She still signs "more" but this has come to mean I want food... rather than simply more of something...

    It is amazing to see how much they absorb! Today Mike said the music on her toy was bluesy and she mimicked straight back "boozey?" The questions in baby talk really are the best. You can always hear the interogative!

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