It’s fun watching B.T. learn language. He’s a very talkative little tyke.
When last we saw B.T. on the virtual pages of this blog, we had found ourselves astounded at his language development and his love of books. Well, his language skills have improved dramatically since then. He speaks in complete sentences. He has nearly all his pronouns down pat (barring the gender differential on third person pronouns: he doesn’t always understand gender differences, and frequently resorts to using names in place of pronouns when making third person references) – and that includes more complex things like possessive pronouns. There are amusing errors, though, that make sense when you think about it. Instead of “mine” it’s “mines”. I figured “Well, it’s yours and his and hers. Why not mines for first person?” Or the plural: a large quantity of something isn’t “a lot of them” but “lots an’ lots of dems”. When there are a lot of people he loves to point out the “peoples“. Some of those little oddities of English that he’ll learn in time. For now, we laugh and gently correct him by repeating him with the correct pronounciation.
Pronouns are just one thing. But he’s got tons of verbs, some (but not all) of of his prepositions, names for all kinds of things. Not only does he speak in complete sentences, but his sentences are increasing in complexity and thought. He can count, and he can already do basic math with very small numbers (less than 5).
Some other gems worth sharing: B.T. often likes to apply his own “ointment” – and he can say the word almost perfectly. We’ve been trying to teach B.T. about things like sharing and empathy: when he hits or bites or pinches (as I understand all toddlers inevitably do) we tell him that it’s not very “nice” and frequently feign greater injury than we recieved. So now whenever we’ve hurt his feelings or done something he disapproves of he sternly says “No Mommy! No Daddy! That’s not not nice!” Double-negatives are an odd thing. Some words he seems to savor the sound of: like “bluuuueeee“. When he hears a plane but can’t see it he delights in pointing out “It’s hiding in the clouds!” He has a toy cellphone that says the names of colors in English and Spanish (as well as greetings from “Grandma” and “voicemail” notifications in both languages). So he’ll sometimes spout “Roja. That’s means Red!” For the longest time he loved his “Nama and Papa”, but his pronounciation improved in sudden leaps in the past few weeks, through “Gama and Gampa” and just as quickly to “Gramma and Grampa” – although he’s inconsistent in using these. There’s just so many, and Dear Wife and I have to savor it all, because we know this phase won’t last long.
His pronounciation is still mostly age-appropriate, but since it’s been a while that means that he’s so much clearer and easier to understand than mere months ago. Taken as a whole, though, his language skills are roughly on par with kids two or three months older than him – which at his age is still a big difference, developmentally.
It’s good he’s learning this all so fast. It won’t be long, now, and he’s going to have to learn another very big lesson. Very big lessons come with the territory when you become a very big brother. As he often points out to us, there’s a baby in mommy’s belly…