June 4, 2013 by Dadinator
I came home today after a tough day at work. I was called into a school that is hard yakka at the best of times, today was particularly bad. Breach of a restraining order bad (I am not kidding). So after writing 3 short essays (behavioural reports) on some of my
atrociously rude demanding students with the attention span of gnats, who had been annoying as all f**** difficult, debriefing with staff at the school and signing out I headed home. Did some shopping on the way (the school is close to an Aldi, which is handy), where I picked up a present for The Lad; a monkey soft toy with a wheat bag in it. We have been using a wheat bag to take the chill off his cot so when we lay him in it he doesn’t get woken by the cold.
I got home after the 45 minute drive and was greeted with broad grins, cuddles and much joy. As the boy began to erase the stresses and tiredness of my day with his exuberance and charm (and with the fact that he valued my presence), The Mamanator unpacked the shopping and laid his new monkey on the floor.
“Mon—-key” squeaked The Lad. He has seen monkeys in some of his books and on television. He has heard music by The Amazing Drumming Monkeys, but he had never said the word before. “Yes, monkey.” I replied. “Oooo ooooo ah ah” said The Lad.
I don’t know what it was about that moment, but I suddenly took stock of what this little one was doing and it dawned on me all at once. The Lad is saying 2 syllable words. He counts to 10. He points to non-story related pictures in books and tells me what he thinks they are. Birds, boats, fish, trees, cats, dogs, cars, babies, elephants…. He points to trucks and busses in the street and says what they are, he then says”bye bye” as they leave. He knows and can say the names of our 2 cats, Loki and Puck (although he can’t always tell the difference, poor Loki…). He parrots us, trying out his voice and vocal equipment, on words he doesn’t understand yet. He has gone from saying “naaan” to “nannas” for banannas.
Oh and he gives us cuddles now.
What the hell? The more time passes the longer this list gets. I can barely remember any of it starting. He seems to wake up with new words every day, and it is as though he always spoke them and they come with the concept built in. I remember when he knew animal noises, and loved making them. Now its not enough, he says the animals name and then makes the noise.
And every time he tries a new word, he darts a look at me or The Mamanator just to check on things. As if to ask “am I doing this right?”
So this is a language explosion…. Fascinating. Our next mission is to teach him the names of the Star Trek Original Series characters I reckon….
Anyway sorry for the sappy gush post. I guess that after an afternoon of spending time with kids who seem violently allergic to learning, or even the desire to learn, it is revitalising to see this new mind taking so much joy in new knowledge.
So thanks Lad, you turned my day around. Keep it up.