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Big Pitchers . . .

As Maddie continues to develop her
linguistic skills (translation – the kid’s always
talking) and expand her vocabulary, I’m learning I have to
really watch what I say around her.

I’ve not yet heard a cuss word come out of her mouth –
mostly because we started censoring ourselves a long time ago and
she hasn’t heard one from us. But I hear her say things that
I know I’ve never tried to teach her; they’re simply
phrases she’s heard over and over again and has started
repeating. Believe me, it’s a bit startling. Some prime

While playing with her dolly one day,
Maddie “fed” the dolly some “oatmeal”, then
said, “Finished? Good job!” I know I say “good
job” a lot as I encourage her about her tasks, but had no
idea she caught it so strongly.

The other morning when Maddie was eating her ubiquitous oatmeal for
breakfast, she cleaned the bowl out and handed it to me, saying,
“More oatmeal, please!” “Do you want some more to
eat?” I asked. She nodded. “Starvin’!” she
explained. Looking back, I realize that when she asks for seconds I
often say, “You must be starving!”

When Maddie tried to get past me once in the hallway, she tapped my
leg and said, “Shoo me!” She hears her friend Naomi say
that often – her version of “excuse me”. I
certainly haven’t started working on that with her.

And finally, I’ve been impressed with her song-learning
abilities – she’s got a half-dozen songs firmly under
her belt by now, with “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”
being the current favorite – and with her understanding of a
book she’s read several times. But I recently heard her
quoting a book to her dolly as she fed it. It’s a bit
disconcerting to hear your toddler say, “Happy once, happy
twice, happy chicken soup with rice!”

So I know now that I can no longer treat her as an inanimate object
and have a conversation above her head. We’ve already started
spelling “hot button” words such as “park”
and “Elmo” since they set off such an instantaneous
reaction. But now I know – say it once, say it twice, and
Maddie will repeat real nice!


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