Sunday, June 16, 2013

Words From The Street

I'm not a big TV person, so it's been with reluctance that I've allowed Ian to watch it at all until recently. 

Of course, he's been quack quack quacking and cockadoodle dooing for quite a few months already, so someone's been showing him The Wiggles on the sly!

At the park in Stafford last week.
He's cottoned on to this business of language as a form of communication way faster than my other three boys, even quicker than Ryan.  Andrew was barely verbal until three plus.  Too busy crying.  I can't remember much about Aidan and Matthew - may the gods forgive me! - but I do remember they were trilingual at some point, having made up their own language that worked quite well for us and their friends at kindergarten.  In fact, they had some of the other kids speaking what their parents thought was English at home.  It was a smattering of English, German and "Faites attention!" that I retained from my days in France, plus some stuff they'd made up on their own, but it worked. 

Ian, though, has the thought process to put it all together.  Plus four older siblings to mimic.

He hasn't said 'No,' until last week.  He says ' Don't.'  And then gets all sooky (huffy/pouty) about it.  When he did start with no last week it was a resigned, 'No, no, no'  that he's picked up from me. 

Eh, it's not the worst thing he could pick up from me!

Car.  Key.  Open.

He doesn't say 'yes,' either.  He says, "Sure!"  That's Ryan's influence.

What's so interesting about a one and a half - okay one and three quarter now - year old with language skills, is that he's still a one and a half year old.  The verbal is there, but the thoughts are what I always suspected them to be at this age.

We spend a huge amount of time discussing cars and keys and open and shut.  Or standing in front of self-opening doors wondering why they keep shutting and then opening as we walk away.  Then delighted rapture when we see the car again and can work on open and shutting those doors.  Yup, light switches too. 

Dogs tails go round and round.  A lot of things, turns out, go round and round, that I never noticed before.  Wheels, tails, Ian.  Round and round. 

Round and round
Ooooh.    Light switch.  On and off.

He's a conversationalist, but not all that scintillating at times.

Still, I'm fairly impressed with the connections he makes, maybe because he is mine.  Maybe because my other three weren't making them - or at least sharing them verbally with me - this early. 

So I figured we could give Sesame Street a go.  It's on at 8:30 AM - right now as I write as a matter of fact - and allows me to place him and Ryan on the couch, let Ryan wake up and let me, well write!  After all, how bad can Sesame street be, right?!

The first show we watched was on apologies.  Ian watched attentatively as Wormy the Worm and his opponent stuck out their tongues at each other during the worm Olympics and then apologised for it.  And then spent the rest of the morning sticking out his tongue and saying "Nya nya nya nya nya."  Like the worms. 

Is this what Sesame Street is trying to teach my child or did he miss the point of the program?!

So you wanna put me in as forward?

We gave it another go last week.  Ryan and I were in stitches as Brian Williams did a segment on why people on Sesame Street weren't sharing.  It was hysterical.  People kept grabbing things from each other and yelling 'Mine.'  Including a chicken who kept stealing Brian's microphone.  Quality programming, this!  And sharing is a good thing, right?!

I took Ian to the doctor later that morning for a fever and he got a lollipop for being so brave.  (I think our doctor's office has a contract with the dentist next door!)  When we went into the pharmacy another lady commented on his lovely lollipop.

Stared straight at her and  said, "Mine.!"

Swear to God, he had never said that word before.

Hmm, said Ryan, maybe they should have a rating for Sesame Street.  Because the subject matter appears to be right over Ian's head!

One.  Two.  Seven!
Of course, later that week we were shopping at Aldi's (go figure, right?!) after Ryan's riding lesson and Ian was happily nibbling the chocolate bits off of a Skaddoo and then handing the denuded bar to Ryan.  He wanted her to give him HER bar, which still had chocolate bits attached to it. 

"Mine," he said, as he pointed to her bar.

She tried to hand him his.

"NOT mine," he said, quite clearly and loudly.

So we both think he's pretty brilliant even if he isn't getting the point of Sesame Street yet!

Mine, thank you.

He has always said 'Thank you,' and Cookie Monster has taught him to say 'Please' as well, through one of Ian's favourite books, "Elmo's Book of Manners."

Maybe it's just the medium of television that doesn't work for us.  Because this morning, as Ian was busily moving the plastic drink cups from one cabinet to another, he was grunting and groaning and saying "heavy, heavy" as he puttered around the kitchen.

I don't think that came from Elmo's song of heavy and light, which appears to utterly bore him when it comes on the telly. 

I think that came from watching Damon's theatrics (okay, and MAYBE mine) as we carted heavy boxes and furniture around this past weekend in preparation for our big move on Wednesday.

Round and round and vroom vroom too.

Whatever it is, we are all having a great time watching Ian's language progress this rapidly.  (It might come from spending so much time in the playroom alone with two almost- seven year olds!)

He is so much fun to watch.  And you never know what connection he is going to make.  And what will come out next.  (I consider 'Not mine'  the first time he took a complex thought  - beyond open and shut, on and off, up and down - and was able to verbalise it.)

Way too entertaining to be stuck in front of a television!!!

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