Toddler Speak

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…

Book Monster

It occurs to me that some of you may not fully appreciate what I meant when I said, recently, that Dear Wife and I had created a monster.

I submit, for your consideration, the following:

B.T. Reading Brandon Sanderson's "The Way of Kings"
B.T. Reading Brandon Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings”

It is my supposition that B.T.can’t actually read the book he pulled off of my shelf.  But that’s not going to stop him from trying!

All he knows for sure is that what he’s picked up is a book, and if there’s one thing he loves, it’s books.

Some related facts about B.T. and books:

  • The first thing B.T. asks for when he wakes every morning is a book.  Literally. When either Dear Wife or I go in to get him in the morning, he smiles, jumps up for us to pick him up, and then says “Book?”
  • The second-to-last thing B.T. wants every night before going to sleep is, you guessed it, to sit on Mommy or Daddy’s lap and read a book.  (The very last thing he asks for? A song.  Or two, or three.  One thing he loves as much as books is music.)
  • On any given day, Dear Wife and I may read between 5 and 50 books to B.T.  (More on weekends, naturally, when he’s around us the whole day.)
  • It is not unheard of, when Dear Wife brings B.T. home from daycare, for B.T. to instruct Dear Wife as follows: “Call Daddy.  Daddy read book.”  His intention is clear to us.  He wants Dear Wife to call me and tell me to come home so I can read him a book.  Typically, he will accept Mommy reading a book or ten to him in the interim.
  • I had an old Economics textbook sitting around, leftover from my recent stint in an evening MBA program.  Having no further use for it, it was time to clear it out.  B.T. cried when I took it out of the house.  He’d grown fond of it, despite the fact that it had very few pictures.

The Continuing Adventures of B.T. Esq., Precocious Toddler

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on the neverending adventures of one B.T. Esq., Professional Precocious Toddler.  And so, once again, on the off-chance that the trials and triumphs of a toddler are of actual interest to you… well… you shall now be satisfied once again.

(Note: precociosity not necessarily included…)

I now give you to B.T., who shall recount his further adventures himself, in the first person.  From time to time, I shall step in to offer my own thoughts and insights in order that you, dear reader, may have the most rounded presentation of the facts as possible.

Let it not be said that the life of B.T. Esq. is not fraught with difficulties, challenges, and danger.  A young gentleman explorer’s life is not filled alone with fun and adventure.  Nay, but in his ongoing quest to encounter strange and exotic sites never before seen by the likes of man (leastwise, not seen by the likes of man-who-is-a-proper-height-of-just-less-than-three-feet; unlike those ungainly five- and six-footish giants said man may encounter in his travels through exotic lands), there are many pitfalls.  These strange lands are filled with many traps and snares: such devilish and conniving things as your own feet getting in front of you, or floorboards that are millimeters different in height, or immense, giantish tables whose tops come down to just the middle of your forehead so that you have to watch yourself lest you risk injuring yourself or, worse, getting a dreaded boo-boo.  Let me say, my good people: I have faced all these troubles, and more, exploring these strange lands. Continue reading

Toddlers, Children and the Love of Books

B.T. has been doing the cutest thing, lately, with books.  The first time I thought maybe it was a fluke.  But he’s done it several times, now – so I know this is for real.  It warms my heart to know that he is developing a love of literature.  But I digress.  Let me tell you the story…

It started one evening when I was reading a story to him.  Dear Wife and I have read to B.T. almost every night before bed for most of  his life.  Some of his books are of the “Touch & Feel” variety, which include swatches of furry or fuzzy or rough or other textured things for the baby or toddler to feel.  Consequently, B.T. has grown to like touching books.  So often, after I read a story to him, I will hand him the book to handle and play with as he wants.  Usually I will then pick up another book and start reading that one to him.  On this particular night, I didn’t have a second book immediately at hand. Continue reading

Mission Accomplished… Or Is It?

I tweeted this yesterday… but I thought I’d post a few more thoughts today.

I am now – officially – an MBA.  My master’s degree is done.  Like, really for real done.  Sure, class ended a few weeks ago, and I’ve been enjoying the generous expansion of my freer time in the evenings.  But now I have the paper that says it.  Now I have the stamp of approval.  Now I can truly say I’m done.

Well.  Not done, really, am I?  Because every milestone is just that: a measure of progress towards some greater destination.  They don’t call it “commencement” because it’s the end of something, now do they?  That would be more like a “concludement” or something. 

 That means, ideally, this is a time not merely of reflection but a time of anticipation, a time of looking forward, a time of planning.

For me, that will mean a lot of things. Continue reading

Tricksy Halfling!

I’m still working through my notes from JordanCon and writing up a post on what I learned there.  There’s a lot more to write up about it than I anticipated.  In the mean time, since I haven’t talked about B.T. lately, I thought I’d share this little tidbit.

So, B.T. is walking these days.  Sort of, at least.  He’s been doing it for a little while already.  He can take a few steps on his own – sometimes this happens when he’s not thinking about it but lately he’s actually been putting thought into the decision to go it alone.  But usually, he likes to hold mommy or daddy’s finger (especially daddy’s, it seems like – as Dear Wife says, he knows who the sucker is) while he goes on his little walking romps. 

He also eats these little puffs.  They’re his favorite food.  And we’ve been teaching him some simple signs to ask for what he wants.  One of those is the “food” sign, which is basically just pointing to the mouth – easy, right?  So he’s been picking up on these. 

This morning, as Dear Wife and I were getting ready for the day, we thought we’d keep him mollified by asking him if he wanted some puffs.  It’s easier to feed him puffs than to have him hang on our fingers and walk around the house (which is what he’d usually really like to do first thing in the morning; and also pretty much all of the rest of the time, too).  He responded to Dear Wife’s signs by signing that he wanted food then pointing to the puff, so she let him have the puff.  Success!

Then Dear Wife had to go do something else to get ready.  Daddy’s turn.  I ask him if he wants a puff, and sign “food”.  He signs food and points to the puff, so I lean down to let him take the puff and eat it.  But he had other plans!

Within seconds he’s grabbed my finger and pulled himself to standing, and in no time at all we’re walking around the kitchen.  I’d been fooled, pulled in my his ruse of wanting something to eat when what he really wanted was to walk.  And once B.T. gets walking, there’s no slowing him down.   Resigned to my fate, I walk around with him for a while, the task of packing my lunch abandoned, temporarily.

One would think that maybe it’s a little early to be worried about a tricky little toddler – that surely at this age he can’t be that devious.  I am here to tell you: do not be lulled into a false sense of security. They’re watching you.  They know where you live.  And when you least expect it, they will strike!

The Further Adventures of a Precocious Toddler

I realized I haven’t talked much, lately, about the family, or on what B.T.’s been up to, recently.  On the off-chance that the trials and triumphs of a toddler are of actual interest to you… well… you shall now be satisfied.

(Note: precociosity not necessarily included…)

B.T. has been progressing solidly on all developmental fronts, despite the natural anxieties of his first-time parents. Continue reading

17 Days and Counting

I have a special treat for you all today, a guest post!  I’ve mentioned her here before, but the illustrious Dear Wife would like to address your attention today.  So, without further ado, I’ll turn you over to her:

It’s less than three weeks until Christmas, which means that I’m scrambling to write a Christmas letter and print cards for our friends and family.  This year, I plan to print our photo cards at www.shutterfly.com.  We used Shutterfly to print BT’s birth announcements earlier this year and they turned out wonderful!  We recently had some amazing family photos taken by a friend and I can’t wait to show off BTs cuteness and our growing little family in our Christmas cards from Shutterfly.
 
I love Shutterfly’s Christmas photo card (http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-photo-cards) and other holiday photo card (http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery) designs for this year.  Also, now that I have oodles of cute baby pictures, I’m considering using Shutterfly to create a calendar (http://www.shutterfly.com/calendars) with some of my favorite photos.  I’m also eying some of the other photo gifts contemplating which I like most.
 
Back to our Christmas card – each year we’ve been married I’ve written a letter updating family and friends on the big happenings in our family during the year and mailed off the letter, a photo card, and brief personal notes to our friends and family.  It’s also a nice way to briefly document our year and I’ve been saving a letter and photocard each year and plan to put them in a scrapbook.  It will be nice to be able to flip through to see how our family has changed. 

Weekend Assignment: Last Day

A little late to the punch, again, but I haven’t forgotten the latest Weekend Assignment:

Tell us about the last day of anything: the last day of school or a job, your last day as a smoker, the last day before you moved or got married, the last day before you got that car you always wanted, or even the last day of a particularly memorable vacation. Here’s the catch: I’m looking for happy memories here, happy endings rather than tragic ones.

Extra Credit: What happened the next day?

I honestly struggled with this one, for a while.  And then I remembered my truly quintessential “last day”, the anniversary of which is actually right around the corner.

In October of 2006 I said good-bye to my home-town of ten years (though it was never my true home town; military brats don’t have the luxury of a true home town) – a place I like to call V-town.  My destination: the “big city” of the South, Atlanta Georgia. Continue reading

Milestones

Most friends and family have already heard the latest news, but I thought I’d share some updates on B.T. with the blog community.

B.T. was always a great sleeper – from about five weeks of age he started sleeping straight through the nights.  But a little over a month ago he started waking up at nights, growing restless and moody at nights.  Partly this was because he got sick.  Partly it was because this was apparently normal at this age.  And partly, we believed, it was because he was teething. Continue reading