Thursday, January 07, 2021

Funny stories (finally)

After Andrew brought home the books on Monday the children were, understandably, very excited. Alexander was particularly excited and kept bringing things to Andrew's office, the closest room to the music room (where we were sorting the books). Alexander was sure to knock politely on Andrew's door each time he brought something new to show him. 

"I have a new announ'ment!" he'd say as he'd crack the door open. Then he'd show whatever he'd found (a magnifying glass, a toy walrus, a story about penguins). It was very cute.

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Alexander is a Sunbeam this year, which was a very easy transition for him. It was so easy he didn't even realize that he was officially in primary (he's been sitting in on primary since we started up with Zoom church this fall). When the primary sent a getting-to-know-you questionnaire out for each of the primary kids to fill out, Alexander was surprised and elated when I included him.

"I'm not in primary," he said. 

 "You are!" I said. "You're in Sunbeams now! You're a primary boy!"

His eyes grew large. "I'm a primary boy?"

He started running around the house telling everybody that he was a primary boy. 

"I'm a primary boy!" he told each of his siblings and his daddy. He told Naanii that he was a primary boy when we video chatted with her (on Sunday and today). 

You could say he felt it was a rather exciting announcement.

*******

We've been working on Alexander's pronunciation. He is very good at mimicking syllables but he replaces almost every consonant with B (or T) so most things dissolve into literal babbles. One of our favourite things is when he recites the second Article of Faith. He starts off slowly: "We...bebeeb...bat...ben...bihw...be...buni...bor...bere...own...bin..." and then he'll zoom through the rest: "and bot bor Abam banbehbun!"

It's amazing. 

But also he's not very easy to understand so we thought we'd work on a few things to help him be more understandable. I imagine (though I can't say for certain) that his language development has kind of slowed down the past year because he's never in an environment that challenges his language. We all understand him (mostly) just fine, and he never really encounters anyone who doesn't understand him.

I mean, I guess our families don't often understand him (when we do video calls with them) but we're always nearby to help translate for him so the fact that people might not understand him doesn't ever sink in so he goes on his merry way.

S is a big problem for him, so I've been making him practice saying it. It's easiest for him to tack it on at the end of words (though he only attempts it when I remind him to) and he does alright with /st/ blends (though, again, he only attempts those if I remind him to). He does not do well with other blends.

"Say, 'Ssssssllllllow.' Look at me. Say, 'Ssssslllllllow.'"

"Ssssss...llllllow."

"Now say 'slow.'"

"Sss....Bow."

"Look at me..."

By now when I say this he responds by immediately sticking his little tongue up against his teeth to hiss at me. "Ssssssss!" 

To be fair to me, though, I have him work on other sounds as well. For F I remind him to put his front teeth on his lower lip. We went to the park yesterday and he found a ladybug, which he was rather excited about until it flew away. He was worried that perhaps it had crawled inside his shirt so I helped him check and then convinced him that it had simply flown away. 

"But why?" he demanded. "Why wub wuh wadybud by buhbay?"

"Why do you think the ladybug flew away?" 

"Maybe...to bind bum bood?"

"Maybe," I said. "That's a good guess. But let's work on something, okay? Look at Mommy."

"Ssssss..."

"Ffff this time. Teeth on your lip. Say, 'ffffffind."

"Fffffff...bind."

"Ffffffind."

"Ffffff...bind."

"Go from ffff to open. Fffff...iiiiiii...nnnd. Open your mouth so big!"

"Fffff...biiiiiind!"

"That's close enough! Now ffffffoood."

"Fffff...bood."

He'll get there, I'm sure, though even Andrew was baffled when we came home from the park and Alexander exclaimed, "I bound a wadybud at buh part and tept it until it bew abay boo bind bum bood!"

"Bew abay boo bind bum bood?"

"Flew away to find some food," I translated. "He found a ladybug at the park and kept it until it flew away to find some food."

*******

Another thing he said that confused us for a minute this past week was "Bobo-Bamma-Bʊt." 

"I wanna read Bobo-Bamma-Bʊt."

"Bobo-Bamma-Bʊt," I repeated. 

"Bam," he said (which means yes for whatever reason).

"I don't know what book that is."

"It a bʊt," he explained, "Bat ha' Bamma in it, but it Bobo bʊt. It not my bʊt. It ha' Bobo on bu bunt buhbor..."

"Oh! Zozo's Grandma Book! The one with Zozo on the front cover. I see."

The kids really like reading Zozo's Grandma Book, remembering times that Grandma held them on their lap (or forming memories of such times through the help of seeing pictures of it happening) and talking about how much she loves them. 

The other day, Zoë somewhat randomly remarked that when she dies and goes to heaven she's "going to be the first person to jump into Grandma's arms! And then," she said, "I'll probably just fall right through her whole body because...you know...spirits."

She emphasized her ending with a sassy shoulder shrug and eye roll.

*******

Zoë is always packing quite a bit of sass. She got a couple of tubes of lip gloss in her stocking and was so excited about it because she just couldn't fathom how Santa had known she had misplaced her birthday lip gloss—she didn't even mention lip gloss in her letter to Santa. But Santa just always knows what to get for people. He even knows better than they known themselves what they want, which is why it's better that Santa does his job rather than a robot (this last part was in reference to How Santa Lost His Job, a book she read to herself probably 100 times this Christmas (and which I read to her a handful of times)).

She's been gushing about her new lip gloss pretty much nonstop since Christmas so I shouldn't have been surprised that she wrote about it in her writing book when I asked her to write about Christmas break. Yet somehow I was surprised.

"Christmas break was very fun because Santa came," she wrote. "And he knew I didn't have any gossip. And now I am done. The end."

"Gossip?" I asked.

"Oh," she giggled (not at all knowing what gossip is). "Of course I meant lip glossip!"

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