Friday, September 18, 2009

All Of The Above

"Look, Dash, there's a chicken. A yellow chicken. Did you know that a chicken is a bird? This yellow bird/chicken's name is Henrietta!"

When I get all high-falutin' like that, with my descriptions, I get rewarded with this...

It doesn't surprise me. I mean think about it... If you were just learning language, all the catagories that things could be sorted into, would just about blow your mind, wouldn't it?! Our dog is a perfect example...

A) Four-legged animal
B) Dog
C) Bull Dog
D) Ginger colored
E) Arlo (his name)

Because of Arlo, Dashell's word/sign for dog is saying "Arlo" and then panting. (Not to be confused with his sign for monkey which is just panting.) For a while our cat, Floyd, was also "Arlo", as were all four-legged animals, but as we have worked on more signs, Dash is beginning to be able to identify many of the four-legged creatures by their appropriate names.

Floyd is now being correctly identified as a cat. (And I have to say that he seems very grateful and relieved. Oh, the horror, of being confused with a dog! I can only imagine.) Cows, horses, giraffes and lions have found their own identities as well. But currently, almost all birds are lumped together. (Except for a couple who make distinctive sounds.)

I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for Dash to communicate. If the basic idea is there, that's enough. We can get down the specifics later. Like "Aqua" is currently all forms of liquid (water in a cup, ice, his smoothie, steam) and it is, also, all the places that water comes from (a sprinkler head, a faucet, a hose). I figure it's better to first grasp the big picture, and then we can break it down into smaller and smaller bits as his understanding of things grows.
The speed at which children pick up on things, at this age, is phenomenal. Currently Dash has a relatively large vocabulary which is a comprised of words, sounds, signs and combinations (words and signs to communicate a single word). In the last five days or so he has started putting together little sentences, like "Nana up". (It was explained to him that when Nana left, she went away on a plane. All planes are the word "Up" combined with a raised hand.) Or last night in the emergency room (oh yes, haven't you heard, we have a membership so we drop by frequently) Dash was explaining to everyone, and anyone who would listen, what had happened, "Bzzzzzz uh-oh ow!" I'm sure that sentence is clear, like crystal, to you but just in case it isn't let me interpret... Dashy stepped on a bee last night. At first he was surprised and then it just hurt like hell. (Since he'd never been stung before, and his foot got a little red and swollen, and he had just had the MMR vaccine, aaaand Diana told me to, we took him to get checked out just to make sure that he wasn't going to have a crazy allergic reaction.) Well, anyway, everyone got a big kick out his version of the tale. So the trip, although ultimately unnecessary, did provide a few laughs.

But this morning was the best. Dash decided that he was going to read all of his books to his Dad. He pointed out all the flowers and cows and birds. He told Dave about how you go up the ladder and about how all the animals sleep in the barn. It was super cute!!

Joyce told me that things were going to explode at this age and they sure have. (Joyce's son Magnus is almost two, so she has a little insight into these matters.) I have to say, I'm blown away everyday!

Last week when Diana made a comment on her blog about milestones, it caught me off guard. I had followed all the milestones for the first 12 months, but really hadn't give them a second thought once Dash turned one. So I looked up what things he should be doing and, of course, panicked. I read that he should have about 12-15 words by 16 months and I thought, "OMG! I don't think we're anywhere near that." So I sat down and made a list over the last week, and boy was I surprised!

Here is a list of the "words" that Dash uses regularly now, at 15.75 months. (There are many "words" that he used for a week and dropped or only uses now and again. I haven't included those.)

-    Mama
-    Dada
-    Arlo
-    No
-    Go, go, go!
-    Yeah or Dah (for “yes”)
-    There
-    Cold (sounds like “ca”)
-    Ball
-    Grass (sounds like “gra”)
-    Up
-    Agua
-    Eye
-    Niña
-    Niño
-    Tractor
-    Bubble
-    Nana (one of his grandmothers)
-    Hi
-    Wow
-    Uh-oh
-    Ow
-    Poo-poo (most of the time he tells us when he's done this)
-    Boo Boo
-    Door (sounds like “dur”)
-    Big (sounds like “baa”)
-    Ooo dat (for what’s that)
-    Row, row, row (as in "row, row, row your boat...")
-    Baba (the name of favorite book character)

Sounds (used as word substitutes)
-    Whoo Whoo (train)
-    Ding Ding (train or the bell at the firehouse)
-    Vroom Vroom (car or truck)
-    Brmm Brmm (car, truck or tractor)
-    Bzzzzz  (for insects)
-    (the sound a fire truck makes)
-    Awh-Aaah! Awh-Aaah! (for macaw or peacock)
-    Plah. Plah. (for dirty)
-    Rooooar! (for lion)
-    Boom Boom (cannon)

-    Eat
-    More
-    All done
-    Bird
-    Fish
-    Cow
-    Monkey
-    Turtle
-    Sleep
-    Soft
-    Nice
-    Hi
-    Bye Bye
-    Hear
-    Hat
-    Giraffe
-    Crab
-    Caterpillar
-    Candle
-    Tongue
-    Cat
-    Frog
-    Flower

Combinations (words & signs for a single word)
-    Hot
-    Dump Truck
-    Airplane
-    Telephone
-    Dog

Pretty sweet, huh?! I'm trying to get them all on video, so hopefully sometime in the near future I can get together a little montage, for your viewing pleasure.

This is stage is beyond fun... all of the amusing chatter and very little of the annoying talking back! But I'm certainly not looking foward to my bad childhood karma coming back to haunt me once he becomes a little more articulate. (Let's just say that I was a champion talker-backer!)


Diana said...

Ay, yi, yi!! I was wondering if you ended up in the ER!!! So sorry for sending you on the unnecessary trip!! Glad Dashy had fun with it.

He is just the most amazing boy ever!!! So intelligent!

gma said...

Wow! What a communicator your little guy is! Can't wait to talk with him again & hear all his observations on the world. He has a lot to point out!

Marcela Beatty said...

All these words?!?!?!? That is awesome! Audrey is signing and talking a lot too, but this is amazing!