13 April 2011

Off and On

Recently the mother of a fifteen month old asked if her daughter would start using more words soon. The girl was certainly on target and had several signs that she used regularly as well as a handful of words, but her vocabulary had yet to reach that point where it begins to explode, where you can no longer tell when or how you child learned a certain moniker or phrase.

I have to admit to being stumped as to how Emmaline, walking into a baby shower for our good friend Ellen, knew without a moment's hesitation that the large red monster was named Elmo. After much consternation I realized that Elmo, albeit a one-inch-high version of the enormous plush creature before her, featured prominently on Miss Em's diapers. It is still amazing to me that she would make the connection but it is the only explanation that makes sense.

For more on Emma's continuing love affair with the red furry beast, who I can only assume she is on the phone with, a video illustration:

And for those of you without toddlers, or those of you with toddlers who abide by the AAP guidelines for no screen time, this is what she's singing:

So yes, she is learning more words and yes, I find it enormously adorable. And yes, it seemed to happen all at once, so I was able to tell this mom of my patient that she was soon to be amazed by her offspring instead of simply enamored with her.

Back to Emmaline, last night, holding a pen cap in her hand. I find the pen the cap is missing and hold it out to her to practice sliding the cap into place. She has some trouble but she does it, over and over again.

"On, off," I say.

She looks at me, tilts her head to one side, then drops to the floor, jumps to her feet, and drops down again.

"Up, down," Emmaline proclaims.

Daryl, surprised but not wanting to miss the moment, interjects, "Yes, Em, those are opposites."

And Emmaline agrees, as if it is no big deal, and says "Oh-poh-sits," very, very clearly.

Daryl and I look at each other in stunned silence. And then I start to panic that we need to reinforce the lesson but are moving too slowly.

"There's a book, an opposite book," I say urgently looking toward the bookshelf, but the book is nowhere to be seen.

"I don't know where it is," Daryl protests.

Emmaline walks to the other side of the coffee table, picks up the book, and holds it out to me.

"Opposite," she says again, helpfully. Then, "Read!"

Freaking amazing if I do say so myself.

1 comment:

  1. Jimmy had his language explosion over the summer, so it was such a surprise in September when he saw little school chums and called them by name -- it had all been in there, floating around in his brain, since May, and then it just popped out!