Monday, March 16, 2009

Talk about Milestones

Language Milestones

I'll never forget the morning Spark said his first word. Clear as a bell, he said "Mama" while looking straight at me one morning in August 2005. Soon after, other words followed. He spoke the typical baby words for many things. Milk was "gnak" and Daddy was "da da bop bop." We oohhed and aahhhed and laughed over the many words he tried to say.

Then, one day, he started speaking in sentences. Soon, he was answering questions and saying words we didn't understand, words we didn't know he knew like "octagon."

For the past year and half, I haven't paid a lot of attention to Spark's language. He has a few issues with pronunciation. For instance, his "L" sounds still come out a little like "W" sounds: "Wove" instead of "love." But, that's normal (or at least so says our pediatrician). He seems to be progressing normally for his age. I do notice when he says a new word in the appropriate context like "awesome" and I try to make him say multi-syllable words properly like "quesadilla" and "guacamole"--both important words in our home.

It kind of hit me a couple weeks ago that Spark's conversation skills have matured. We used to have pretty much one-way conversations. For instance, when I pick him up from school, I usually ask him how he's doing. Most of the conversations, until recently, worked like a question/answer trivia game:

Me: What did you eat for lunch today at school?
Spark: A cheeseburger and french fries.
Me: What did you drink?
Spark: Milk.
Me: What was your favorite part of school today?
Spark: Playing with the cars.
Me: Did you go to sleep at naptime?
Spark: No.
Me: Did you miss your Mommy?
Spark: A little.

Now, we're having conversations where he tells me things without being prompted and where he asks some of the questions, too.

Spark: Mommy, I peed in my pants today.
Me: Why did you do that, Spark?
Spark: Because I was taking a good nap. Mrs. Mackey said that I had to change my clothes. And I peed on my blankie, too. It's in my bag.
Me: Ok. It's ok. We'll wash them at home.
Spark: Can I get a snack? I'm very hungry. Can we stop at the gas station and get a snack?
Me: No, we're going home. I have you a snack there.

He's also interjecting movie lines into conversation, which I'm sure is a milestone. Last night, for instance, he was eating a special treat (Oreo cookies) with milk. He looked up after he finished all the cookies, and I told him to drink the rest of his milk. He said, "Everything's delicious, Mommy." Then, he looked at me and his eyes got a little wider. He took another exaggerated drink of his milk and again said, "Everything's delicious!"

It took me a minute because I don't watch as much Disney Pixar as he does. But, then I realized that line comes from The Incredibles. Spark said the line a few more times before running off to wash up. He seemed proud of himself.

Another big milestone we've hit recently is what I'm calling "boyspeak." Anytime anyone says any word relating to anything remotely taboo or gross, Spark has to comment.

So, if you happen to say butt, poop, or fart near my son, you'll likely hear: "Awwwwhhhhh.....You said poop! You said poop!" Likewise, if you happen to show or do any of those things, Spark will let the world know: "Look at that. It's a butt!!"

I wonder what great language milestone awaits around the corner...


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