Saturday, November 12, 2016

Blossoming vocabulary

Zoë is a squawker. She'd much rather grunt (or scream) and point than figure out how to get the words in her mind to come out of her mouth. But I know there are words in there. Her comprehension is great. Case in point:

  • A few weeks ago I mentioned that I needed to get started on Miriam's birthday cake and Zoë dropped everything and ran over to me, insisting that we play pat-a-cake right that very instant. She was like, "Cake? I've got this!"
  • I was nursing Zoë one evening and Andrew mentioned something being "disappointing" and Zoë stuck her little index finger out and started jabbing it in the air. She was just a-pointin' as hard as she could!
  • Andrew once tripped over her and said, "Oh, no! Did I step on your foot?" She looked up at him, walked over and stomped on his foot, and then acted all proud that she had followed directions so perfectly. (Pronouns are hard).

Sometimes she'll mouth words, mimicking the shape of our lips but without making any sounds; and she'll randomly blurt out words (like "HAMILTON!" or "MEADOW!") if she's caught up in the moment and forgets that talking is hard.

She can sign "more" and "all done" and "please" (and chicken and duck for whatever reason*).

Her spoken vocabulary is slowly coming along, though.


She loves to make animal noises. Pretending to be a puppy is one of her favourite past-times, but she'll also meow like a cat or hoot like an owl or whinny like a horse. She knows what ducks, monkeys, turkeys, fish, lions, bears, and pigs say. If you ask her what a baby says she'll answer, quite confidently, "Mama!"

That's probably her favourite word: Mama! Mama! Mama!

She can say "yes" and "no."

She can say "ME!!!"

Sometimes she will say "sh" for shoes.

She'll say Dada (for Andrew, obviously). She'll say Asha (for Rachel). While Grandma was here she started calling her Ama (much different from Mama).

She once said, "Hand!" when she wanted to hold my hand.

She loves to say "hi" and she used to say "bye" but now she just says "hi" for everything, including goodnight. Salutations—who needs them?

She uses the word "banana" fairly consistently and recently added the word "cheese" to her repertoire, so now she can formally request at least two things to eat toss on the floor.

My favourite new word, though, is "love."

(Did I already write about this? I feel like I have, but I'm too exhausted to check.)

One day I said, "I love..." and then waited for Zoë to answer, thinking she'd say "YOU!" (which she's never said) or at least "ME!" (which she often says, though never in response to this particular question (usually when she wants something one of her siblings is holding)). Instead she said, "Uzz!"

And now she says "uzz" all the time and it melts my heart every time.

"I love you!" I'll say.

"Uzz!" Zoë will say back.

Or she'll offer a little "uzz" with a hug or kiss.

For some reason it just fills my heart with joy knowing that love is one of her very first words.

Love is all you need.

* It's because I sometimes do signs while we sing Happy Song. She can also do the actions (not technically signs) for Popcorn Popping, which is to die for.

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