Language development in children is one of the most fascinating processes imaginable.
It is something that cannot be planned, hurried, coerced or forced. It sometimes comes in phases. It can appear virtually overnight. But it can never, ever be purchased.
It is often the subject of Mommy conversations. It is just as often the subject of exaggeration by these same Mommys.
And it is even more exaggerated (you know… “My grandchild is simply brilliant. She began talking at 2 months.”) by grandparents.
But in any case, there are times during the language development/acquisition that leave all parents and grandparents scratching their heads.
“What did you just say?”
And then the beaming, satisfied Mommy interprets: “Ohhhhhh, she just said, ‘Speech is a practical convenience of communication.’”
Uh, huh. That is what you deciphered from those sounds.
So anyway, while I was babysitting for Audrey’s two youngest guys yesterday, I found myself trying to decipher what Alexander (turning 2 soon) was so concerned about regarding his little brother, Benjamin (5 months).
The conversation went like this:
Alex: Grandma, Benja did pulla-pook.
Me: What, Honey? (my mind sorting and calculating these sounds into something that makes sense)
Alex: Benja did pulla-pook.
Now I know he is serious about what he is saying because he is exactly repeating the same sounds.
Again, my mind races into overdrive.
Me: Hula hoop, Alex?
Alex: NO, GRANDMA. Benja did PULLA-POOK.
OK, now he’s angry. And sweat is building on my brow. I decide to get a little closer. You know, gently take his cute little shoulders and get real close and cozy.
But as I take my first step toward Alex, I step barefooted-ly stunned into a slimy pool of goo.
Oh, now I get it.
Deciphering By Foot.
A pool of puke.
Benja did pulla-pook = Benjamin did a pool of puke.
This is what I call a “near miss” in the language development process.