Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Language Lessons

Madeleine began making vocal noises (other than cries!) around ten weeks of age.  One of the first sounds out of her mouth was “mumumumumum”, and I was convinced it was only a matter of days before she associated those sounds with the face eagerly looming over hers every time she made them.  I knew I had a child genius on my hands.
Alas, it was not so.  Her “words” have yet to have any known association with a specific object or idea.  Her verbalizations, however, have grown far beyond “mumumum” and now encompass what might be considered a complex language in its own right.

Maddie has approached speaking with the same dogged determination with which she approaches everything else in life: a sort of eyes-on-the-prize, put-in-the-time-and-it’ll-come-to-you kind of focus that Olympic athletes would envy.  She works on one sound at a time, repeating it over and over and then, when she’s mastered it, never looking back again.  It’s as if she says, “Ok, the letter P.   Let’s see . . . p p p p p p p.  Good.  Puh puh puh puh, pah pah pah pah.  Excellent.  The letter P – check.  Moving on!  The letter B. . .”  Rarely is the letter that is repeated once she’s gotten a good handle on it.  The exeptions to the rule so far have been her favorite “mumumum” sound (thank heavens) and the classic raspberry. 
The raspberry, I might add, was discovered very early on and held such fascination for her she’d forgo sleep for it.  The day she found the raspberry, Brian laid her on the changing table to put on her jammies and she spent the whole bedtime routine covering the table in spit, blowing and giggling happily.  We got her calmed down and into her bassinet by our bedside, turned the lights out, and climbed into bed ourselves.  After a minute or two of darkness and silence, the raspberries abruptly started back up again.  As far as she knew, Maddie was alone in the room, and simply making noise for the sheer fun of it.  This continued for several minutes, Madeleine blowing and giggling to herself as Brian and I shook with silent laughter in the bed, until she lost interest and fell asleep. 
But as I was saying, Maddie’s speech has been steadily improving in complexity and communication skills.  She tested out the volume level for quite a while, startled and joyous to find she could speak so loudly, and has begun whispering when someone whispers to her.  She’s been moving from a mouth-based language – Ms and Bs and so forth – to a tongue-based language with Ls and Ds (much to Daddy’s relief!)  Her language also takes on a distinctive style or flair, as if she’s been surreptitiously watching foreign language films while I cook during the day.  For a while her speech was decidedly Gallic, with the weary nasal sounds and a disenchanted back-of-the-mouth pronunciation that bespoke existential French films and smoke-filled rooms.  Recently, though, she’s begun speaking in some African tribal dialect, punctuated with glottal stops and clicks and staccato consonants.  She’s truly multi-lingual, this one.  Leave her in the bouncy seat facing the Christmas tree (yes, it’s still up!) and she’ll happily chat away, gesturing and underlining special points with an emphatic hand stab.  Sit her on the floor with Krinkle Katy and she’ll gravely lecture away for several seconds until, hearing a joke only she and Katy understand, she’ll break into peals of laughter.  Lie with her on your chest and she’ll sweetly whisper the secrets of the universe in your ear.
I only hope the rest of us can learn her lingo.  It’s such a pain to be misunderstood.


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.