Snippet: Language II

Flora has recently learned (I suspect through daycare channels) that “willy” is another word for boy business (as we call it around here).

During Sunday’s Steelers game, Dan exclaimed, “Go, Fast Willie!”

Flora was flabbergasted. She turned to me and hissed, “Daddy just said a potty word!”

Dan was nonplussed, and I fell to the floor laughing.

We also have a DVD animated version of Whistle for Willie, a children’s book by Ezra Jack Keats.

When I told her the name of the story, Flora asked in the tones of deepest outrage, “Who would name a dog ‘willy’?”

Talk, Talk

I had the longest conversation I’ve ever had with Kate recently. It wasn’t ground-breaking stuff, but it was an actual conversation, give-and-take. Her big sister isn’t even that great at the give-and-take stuff.

She was asking me questions, waiting for answers, and responding to the answers. Which sounds suspiciously like “listening” to me.

That can’t be right.

We talked about where Flora was (downstairs). We talked about what we were going to do after Aiysha changed her diaper (go get Flora and go to the farmers market). She pointed out the colors of things on the wall to me (“It’s a red apple. It’s a blue bird.”)

Shortly after Kate got her ear tubes in April — say, about two weeks later — her language took off. She had always been developmentally appropriate, but it went from two or three word sentences to five, six, seven words. From observations to questions, then checking on the answers to the questions. She started using language to make sense of things and comply with us (“First you get your diaper changed. Then we go outside to play.” “First you eat some peas. Then you can have a treat.”)

The world, it seems, started to make a different kind of sense to her. And it continues. She asks questions: “Where is Flora?’ “What are we doing after ‘yisha changes my diaper?” And after that? And after that? She pays attention. “Flora’s downstairs,” she’ll tell me. “It’s time to go to the farmers market.”

She seems to be actively seeking information now — she seems to realize how that works. And not in the rapid-fire way of her sister, who can’t let you get a word in — Flora just fires questions and requests at me; sometimes I’m not even sure what I’m answering. (This is not a critique of my older daughter. They are just wildly different girls. Which is just the way it is. I can extol Flora elsewhere.)

Of course, this will have its downsides too. Her first question this morning, for example, was, “Will you buy me Pet Shops?”

Random News & Notes: Progress

What the girls are up to:

Bun says new words every day. Her first sentence? “I want that.” Rendered phonetically: “Eyeontdat.” Picture the little pudgy hand reaching out in a grasping motion as well.

Cute — adorable, actually — but probably spells trouble for the future.

DearDR asserts that she hasn’t actually said a sentence because she doesn’t yet understand conjugation: She wants that; you want that. I understand his point, but I’m still calling it her first sentence.

Monkey’s first sentence was a question: “What is that?” Phonetically: “Wot dat?”

Bun doesn’t seem to care, she just wants “dat”. Especially if her sister has it, of course.

Holy cow, I did not realize the “must do everything older sibling is doing” phase would start at 17 months.

And who knew girls wrestled?? I’ll try to post video. As long as I don’t have to intervene to keep someone from suffocating her sister. And that can go either way.

Monkey is dressing herself. She usually does a good job, although she occasionally puts things on backwards. She has not yet insisted on picking out her own clothing. Once in a while, she will insist on wearing her rain boots, but she seems content to leave sartorial decisions to me. For now.

We went to the pediatrician and he proclaimed all ears are clear of fluid and infection. This is a relief, but I wonder how long it will last.

We have an appointment with an ENT doctor at the end of the month.

The chiropractor suggested going dairy free. I am dubious, and my pediatrician was downright nonplussed. I give him credit for not blurting out, “What crazy person told you that??” Because I saw it flit across his face before he became composed and simply said, “I have never heard of dairy affecting ear infections.”

The chiropractic literature is full of the suggestion that dairy allergies lead to ear infections. I have doubts. The pediatric literature doesn’t mention it. So… yeah.

I would like to avoid tubes for the girls as I know they will outgrow this problem. (Thanks for the comments, everyone — online and off.) At the same time, I would like to stop treating them with antibiotics, because I think we may be creating a problem down the line. I have my doubts about going non-dairy because the girls don’t really seem to have a problem with dairy — no lactose intolerance, no runny noses, etc. Plus, they usually get organic dairy, and their exposure to cow’s milk (as a beverage) is minimal. They drink fortified soy or rice “milk”.

Also, quite frankly, going completely dairy-free is next to impossible. I am a label-reader because of the vegetarian thing anyway. I challenge you to find food without some kind of dairy (casein, whey, non-fat milk, you name it). Fresh fruits and veggies are about it. And very expensive organic cookies. But even “Veggie Slices” is loaded with dairy; it just doesn’t contain lactose, which is the most common culprit of gastric distress in those who can’t tolerate dairy.

In short: lots going on, as per usual. We probably will not go dairy-free — I just don’t think it’s a good idea. I feel pretty good that despite the ear infections Bun’s language development is moving right along. No doubt her next sentence will be, “I’m going to scream if I don’t get that.” Oh, wait. She doesn’t really need language per se for that, huh?

At least she is signing “please”.