Thursday, January 31, 2008

More Talkin' 'Bout

Today Meg was officially dismissed from the Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Speech Program. Her teacher, Sandra, came today, and we did Meg's six-month review. Meg has attained or surpassed all of the goals we set six months ago. Dave and I are so pleased with where she is and how far she's come. So we decided to "end service"--the truly excellent service that we have received from this government-sponsored program.

It's a little sad, because Meg has loved her time with Sandra. This morning she kept asking, just to make sure: "Sa-sa coming? Sa-sa coming?" Well, Sa-sa's not coming any more, Little Love. You're such a good talker now that you don't need her anymore. Sometimes growth is bittersweet, isn't it?

Fortunately, our girl is still just a two-year old. She's made tons of progress, but she's not so grown-up that she's no longer cute when she talks. In fact, she keeps Dave and me constantly amused by her ongoing advances and discoveries. So I am trying to capture some of the unique and/or funny and/or revealing things she says before they disappear into yesterday.

There are a couple of phrases in Meg's vocabulary that have mystified Dave and me for some time. For example, to Meg, lions are always "wy-cubs". Not just lions, but lion cubs. It doesn't matter if Mommy and Daddy tell her that it's a grown-up lion. It doesn't matter if it has a mane. It's always a wy-cub. Another puzzle is the way she says "snap". If she wants her onesie fastened or her coat buttoned, she always says, "See-saps." See-saps?

This week I finally discovered that those expressions both come from the same source. We have this little board book called Polly Pelican.
Polly Pelican
As you can see, the book has a hinged, plastic piece at the top--the top half of Polly's beak. On every page of the book, the phrase "snip-snap" is supposed to cue the reader to "snap" Polly's beak along with the story. It's really pretty cute.

The other day, as I listened to Meg "read" the book to herself, I noticed that every time she snapped Polly's beak, she said, "See-saps." Ah, snip-snap! Now I get it! We've been reading this book since she was tiny, right? So her first association with the word "snap" was that it came paired with "snip", and thus they are still paired in her mind. It all makes sense now.

Likewise, in the course of Polly Pelican, the title character saves two lion cubs from a fire. So it must have been that this book, her first exposure to lions of any sort, cemented the pairing of the words "lion" and "cub". Hence, all lions are wy-cubs. It's funny to think of the verbal connections forged in babies' minds before they can even talk. Makes me want to be very careful about what I say.

Yesterday Meg uttered what I believe to be her longest sentence to date. "Daddy uh Mama uh Dees uh me ahhhhhhhhhh cah." In translation: "Daddy and Mama and Matthew and me are all in the car." Which happened to be true.

This morning, Dave posed one of his favorite questions to our girl: "Meg, who loves you?" Usually Meg's answer is either Dave, me, both of us, or maybe Nana or Cubby. But today there was a new twist. "Meg who loves you?"

"Me uh Daddy uh Mama uh Dees."

Yup, that's just about right, girlie. Especially that first person you mentioned.

This last one is my favorite. This afternoon I was putting Matthew down for a nap. Meg was in his room with me, and when I lay her brother down in his crib, she came over to us. As she put her hand through the crib bars and stroked the baby's head, she said softly, "Ah do, Mah. Keessees." ("I love you, Matthew. Kisses.")

Now that, my precious daughter, is something worth saying.

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