Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sammy is talking!

First it was babble. But this last week, a definite correlation seems to be growing by the day. Random "uhdadada"s have turned into panicked "dada!"s when Jon leaves the room. Yesterday he added a distressed "mama!" when I walked out on him. Separation anxiety, combined with traveling to Utah for five days, has apparently unsettled him. He's much more clingy lately. Jon swears that two weeks ago, Sammy deliberately said "dadee baba?" while pointing to Jon's water bottle. My hands-down favorite, though, is how a week ago, Eric was pretending to be a zombie, and all at once we heard Sammy roar "B(r)aaaaaay!!!!" ("Brains!").

Granted "Brains" was more imitative than functional. But in the last week, I have noticed Sammy use the following sounds in appropriate contexts:

1) Dada

2) Mama

3) Hi! (to the lovely ladies on the flight out of Salt Lake City, and also sometimes when I get him up in the morning)

4) Ni-ni. (In protest. I say "Night-night, Sammy" and put him in bed. And he wails "Waaaaa! Ni-ni! Waaaaaaaaah!" Which, being interpreted, means "No! I don't want to go to bed! Nooooo!")

Jon claims that he asked nicely to go ni-ni tonight, though. Jon picked him up and he promptly fell asleep. He woke up during a diaper change and then went right back to sleep when Jon put him in bed.

5) Bubba. This one is amusing. Daniel decided months ago to call Sammy "bubba." I think it's supposed to imitate baby babble and stand for "brother" or "baby." However, since Danny says it to Sammy all the time, Sammy has decided it is actually the name for Danny. After all, I walk up to him all the time and say "I'm Mama. Mama!" If Danny gets in his face and repeats "Bubba!" a lot...well, it makes sense for the baby to name the thing after the sound it makes. "Buh-buh!" Teeheehee. Daniel's brilliant plan has backfired.

6) Baba (bottle) still seems to be emerging.

7) We're not sure, but we think he tried to say "diaper" tonight at dinner. I changed it, just to make sure, and it was soppin' wet. Hmmm.

8) Jon also claims Sammy tried to say "spaghetti" during dinner. I admit I am more dubious and skeptical on this one, since I was sitting there and didn't notice any particular pattern to the babble, but Jon is the soul of veracity and I am inclined to believe his reports that Sammy made a string of sounds that were the same with each repetition.

As I recall, most babies are supposed to have four words by the time they turn one year old. Sammy has more than four words, and he isn't even nine months yet. Even granting all the caveats--sometimes he babbles the word for practice without attaching it to its object, he doesn't always use the word, the correlation is emerging but not yet 100 percent, etc--he is still very advanced.

He is also highly imitative, trying to copy sounds (like "brains") we make, even if he doesn't understand them. This child is trying hard to communicate.

Sadly and alas, I'm still not seeing any ASL action. He seems to understand when I say and sign "diaper change," but he still panics when I sign "more bottle" and then pick it up and leave the room to refill it. Still, most babies sign because they can't talk. If Sammy learns to talk super early, he may not need ASL to fill the frustration gap. At eight months, Danny was consistently signing "milk" when he was hungry. However, Daniel was not mobile at eight months. Sammy crawls over to the empty bottle and points. Or wanders into the kitchen and starts eating the crumbs that fall from the master's table. (Eric's cereal droppings.) (Again, like a dog.) Who needs ASL?

Yes, I am bragging obnoxiously about my kid. That's what this blog is for. If you're reading it, you are presumably interested family or friends.

My crop of cute kid quotes had been drying up slightly, mostly because a nine-year-old discussing philosophy just isn't as amazing as a three-year-old doing the same. Perhaps I should keep having babies for their entertainment value? Heaven knows, at this rate, I'll have tons of fabulous Sammy quotes in no time at all.

Just please, PLEASE, let me have a kid who is amazingly advanced at potty training in addition to his brilliance in other fields. Women don't actually forget the pains of child rearing, they just delude themselves into thinking "This time it will be better..."


Yesterday morning, I got Sammy up and he said "Hi, Mama!" He's a few months early for words, but he's a year early for stringing two words together! I think we have yet another brilliant child on our hands. Of course, if you've met Eric and Daniel, this won't surprise you.

Yesterday afternoon, he got up from a nap with a very poopy diaper. Jon picked him up and said "You need a diaper change," after which Sammy said "diaper" and signed something that Jon thinks was supposed to be "change." It didn't look anything like the sign for "change," but it is consistent, which is the main thing.

After the diaper change, Sam requested "baba." Jon got him a bottle and young master Samuel drained it. Teeheehee.

Last night we went Christmas caroling for a late family home evening. Poor Sammy got sick of the in-out-in-out carseat straps, and he kept trying to say something. We weren't sure what he was trying to say and he got so frustrated, poor little guy. Maybe he does need ASL after all.

When Eric and Daniel were late two/early three, I taught them to say "Beloved and Revered Mommy." I wonder how soon I could get Sammy to do the same...?