Nanny in NYC

A modern day Mary Poppins

Friday, May 05, 2006

Minding our P's & Q's

Luke is talking up a storm these days, and while his most entertaining conversations are still the ones he has with himself--that kind of stream of consciousness babble that so closely mimics adult speech that you almost think he's saying something interesting and not just random syllables--he's getting much better at actually "using his words" to get what he wants.

So, of course, now that he's achieved this great milestone, what do we go and do? We change the rules on him. I feel for him, I really do. A month ago we thought it was so wonderful to have him say, in his baby lisp, "ap-a-ju" when he wants apple juice or the insistent "Ou! Ou! Ou!" when he wants to be released from the stroller. But that was a month ago, and now that he's got simple demands down pat, we've thrown in the wrench of PLEASE and THANK YOU.

This has led to some pretty silly exchanges, and since I don't frequently indulge my impulse to tell "cute Luke stories" in this forum, I don't feel bad about doing it today.

We've gotten to the point that when he runs into the kitchen yelling "zip-ee" over and over (translation=sippie cup) he will, when prompted to "Say please", say "peeze." But he will not say "zip-ee, peeze". I'm not sure where the disconnect comes in, but he frequently can only repeat the last word that I've said to him. Yesterday we sat on the floor together and had this exchange:

Luke: Zip-ee! Zip-ee
Me: Say sippie, please.
Luke: Peeze
Me: No. Say SIPPIE, please.
Me: No. Say SIPPIE, please.
Luke: PEEZE!!
Me: No, say both.
Luke: Boff

(For those of you concerned, that little bout of cuteness did get him the sippie cup with no further coaching.)

Today, at snack time, Luke scarffed down the cheese stick I'd given him and began to insistently chant "Drape! Drape!" (grape) This time, instead of saying (the kind of played-out) "Say please." I decided to take things up a notch. I said, "What's your magic word?" and suddenly I had this kids attention like never before. I don't know who taught him to recognize the word magic, but clearly his expression said that finding out that he, Luke, in fact has a magic word was a pretty big deal. I've never felt so disappointed in myself when, sheepishly, I had to admit to this sweet faced child, that his magic word was nothing more than that meaningless syllable we've been making him repeat over and over again for the past few weeks. Honestly, it was as if I were watching a piece of his innocence just chip off and float away.

Then he threw grapes at me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mother of one of my charges (18 months old) is a speech therapist and tells me that putting two words together, at least upon request, is as yet beyond their communication ability. Have had the same kind of exchange with my little one with the same results.

6:09 AM  

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