Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How our Kids Learn to Speak

Like all brothers and sisters, Teddy and Josephine do everything differently. Teddy is a perfectionist and will not attempt something unless he can perform it perfectly. Josie is not afraid of anything, not even failure. She will practice something she wants to do as often as she needs to in order to get it right.

Teddy started talking at about 7 months and developed a clear vocabulary of about 5 words when he stopped 3 months later. He didn't talk again for a whole year, because he wanted to speak perfectly. When he started again, he had a huge vocabulary and was speaking in phrases, if not sentences. He liked learning Spanish from Dora and at his old school. He is starting to learn a little Sesotho, but gets it mixed up with Spanish. His periodic stammer in DC has turned into a full-blown stutter here. We suspect it is from his uncertainty about accents and pronunciation.

Josie charges in and doesn't worry about mistakes. She didn't have any words as early as Teddy, but would try sounds like "baba" for banana. That one I remember clearly starting on her first birthday. We desperately wish that she communicate in more than just screams and fits, but console ourselves with the fact that she does have a small and developing vocabulary. She can say “mama”, “dada”, “keekee” (kitty cat), “hi”, “bye”, “co co” (Sesotho for “knock knock”, “mum mum” (her word for pacifier, we have no idea how she came up with that one), “Bob” (Bob the Builder), “dog”, and probably a couple of more that I can’t think of right now. 

Each morning this week Josie wakes up saying "Cookie! Cookie!" She wants to watch Cookie Monster sing "C is for Cookie".  And who can blame her. For your viewing pleasure see below. Warning- you might start waking up in the morning needing a "Cookie" fix.

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