Thursday, March 28, 2013

Say What???

We just returned from a visit with my brother-in-law's family, and the cousins all had a great time catching up (even though it's been over a year and a half since our last visit).  My niece mostly ignored these big, stinky boys who were suddenly invading her space; she already has two brothers to contend with.  My nephew (the middle child) found he had much in common with his older cousins now thanks to gaming apps.  They bonded over handheld devices and talk which revolved around how to successfully beat certain levels.  For him, this was a giant step forward from the last two visits where he alienated himself by biting Logan.  No one else... ever... just Logan.  So we skipped the bacon baths prior to our drive down.

My youngest nephew will be two years old next month.  When we arrived he ran around and squealed excitedly, exclaiming "ba ba ba!".  Uh, same to you little man!  Translation please?  That's "ball" or "basketball" (hence the three syllables) and really the small orange basketball in his hands should have been my tip-off.  Not to be confused with the two-syllable "ba ba" which is of course "bottle" or his sippy cup.  But pay attention, because "na na" is his blanket and he has the best scowly face if you upset him. I also find it highly amusing that he uses similar words for both the dog and his brother ("dodgy"), but I'm the aunt and my job is to laugh at the kids and give them candy, so I make sure I don't disappoint.

I'm not judging though.  Lots of boys learn to talk later than girls.  I mean, really, it seems that every toddler girl I've ever met sounds like she's straight out of a Jane Austen novel.  For example:

Me:  "What a pretty dress you're wearing!"
18-month-old girl:  "It is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy.  May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are they the result of previous study?"                      

My own boys were late-talkers.  Zack didn't really start experimenting with words until he was 21 months old.  And Logan had his own language that constantly needed translation.  The lady who did speech evaluations for our district was quite confident that her many years of work with children and speech pathologies would enable her to easily understand our special guy.  She became a bit more flustered each time she had to turn to us for explanations.  Here are some of my favorites:

Doo = shoe
Doo-ah = sock (of course, it is based on doo)
Da-doo-ah = dinosaur (now we are getting more complex)
Ba to ba to ba! = counting
Boppy Bo = Zack

I'm not sure where he came up with "Boppy Bo" but he used it consistently every time he was referring to his brother.  It seems much more difficult than just saying "Zack" but what do I know?  The other moms at the park had the most quizzical expressions when he would look around yelling "Boppy Bo!?!?"  Zack constantly used to ask us, "When is he going to learn to say my name?" and I had no good answer.  It took lots of speech therapy and practice and encouragement to eek out words that eventually became identifiable as the English language.  And honestly, I miss the cute mispronunciations and special Logan-speak that only we could understand.  I wish I remembered more examples from that time.

As much as things change, so do they remain the same.  Case in point: my boys were occupying themselves during our drive home by making up words or repeating existing words until they became nonsensical.  I'm glad I didn't have to explain to a police officer why I was swerving with screams of  "Buffalunkey" and "tofurkey,tofurkey,tofurkey" emanating from my car.  Gimme a good old Boppy-Bo any day.

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