Thursday, March 13, 2014

We've got sentences

Benjamin's become the king of two-word sentences. Granted, most of his sentences begin with the word "want," which he pronounces "uh!" But still. Two words in a row!

In the middle of the night he was up and fussing about wanting to nurse and I told him that was absolutely not a possibility and that he could have a drink of water. He (a) hit me and (b) said, "Want Dada!" before rolling over and clinging to Andrew. I don't know how long it took for Benjamin's spite-cuddle to help him fall asleep on the other side of the bed but his breathing did eventually slow down and even out (rather that the huffy-puffy angry breathing he was doing before) so I knew he'd travelled once again to the Land of Nod.

It was actually a rather rough night, punctuated by little screaming fits. I don't know what his problem was but he woke up happy enough.

When I pulled off his footy-jammies he stuck his little toes in my face and said, "Uh pi'!" Clearly this means, "Want pig!" So I played This Little Piggy on his toes and then announced it was time to go potty because there are certain times in the day when little ones just have to go potty (when they first wake up, before going to sleep, and before leaving the house, just to name a few). This caused a temper tantrum so severe that Andrew ran in to save me from him (Andrew's on spring break).

Andrew was able to calm him down and convince him to go potty. On the way he fulfilled many of Benjamin's morning wants.


"Want door!" meant he wanted to open/close the doors.

"Want light!" meant he wanted to turn on the light.

"Want pants!" meant he wanted to put his pyjama bottoms back on (it was a chilly night so he had two pairs of pyjamas on).

"Want light!" meant that he wanted to turn off the light.

And so on. Then Andrew was just cuddling our grumpy-happy boy (he really can't make up his mind to day) and he said, "Want 'side!" but really it came out as "Uh 'si'!"

"What does that mean?" Andrew asked.

"He wants to go outside," I translated.

"It's too cold to go outside," Andrew said. "It's freezing today."

"Want go!" Benjamin fussed.

"He wants to go outside of the bedroom," I explained.

So Andrew took him into the living room where Benjamin promptly decided "want Mom," so they came back into the bedroom. Benjamin cuddled with me for a few minutes before announcing "want down" and climbing off the bed.

"Want door," he said, pulling it open (he can't work the handle yet (though he can reach it now!) but enjoys opening and closing doors if they're left open just a crack). To Benjamin's great surprise, Miriam was standing behind the door.

He screamed with excitement and gave her a great big hug.

Our morning has been filled with other demands, but there are actually a few other two-word sentences Benjamin can produce.

"In there," is one he uses quite often ("In 'ere," Benjamin says) to tell us where he's supposed to go potty. He'll also say it if he sticks something important (usually a toy car or something similar) in some small/tricky location and he needs help getting it unstuck.

"More _________!" is another common phrase of his. "Mo' mi'!" means "More milk!" but he'll tack "more" to the beginning of just about anything (kind of like "want").

Slowly but surely his language is developing (emphasis on the slowly). In addition to his simple sentences his vocabulary is blossoming.

"Gink!" means drink.
"Se-ah!" means cereal.
"Bi'!" means bike.
"Shtro-o!" means stroller.
"Chair!" means chair.
"Stoo!" means stool.
"'Aush!" means wash.
"Juh!" means juice.
"My!" means mine.
"Ca'!" means cat.
"Pi'!" means pig.
"Shuh!" means shirt.
"Co'!" means cold.
"Chruh," means train.
"'Ello," means cellphone (not hello because hello is just "hi").

"Buh!" can mean either buckle or button (and many other words that begin with the letter b (such as bus)—we use a lot of context cues to figure out what he's talking about). Reduplicated ("buh-buh!") it can mean either bubbles or potty.

"No!" means no. And I was so excited about this word at first because it seems like he added it after a long break of not adding any new vocabulary. I quickly got un-excited about it. He says it all the time now.

He's got all his old words, too, like bird, moo, quack, go, door, outside/inside, shoe, sock, squirrel, swing, push, pee, fish, flush, mom, dad, baby, car, choose, book, show, ball, cheese, stairs, tree, colour, and so forth.

All in all he's got a rather extensive—though quite rudimentary—vocabulary, though not all his words are recognizable to outsiders yet. His burgeoning language skills are quite a relief to me and every time he adds a new word I breathe a little easier.

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