I care for my now one year old granddaughter four days a week and the ocassional night or weekend. I am fascinated by the language acquisition process and her ability to communicate. (More)

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Her main words at first were “Dada,” “Mama,” and “Nana.” She runs through them in that order when she wants help or attention. She may look around and see only me so she skips to “Nana.”

One of her first object word was “book.” She is read to a lot, on demand really, and picks up a book and walks over and plucks herself down after handing the book to me. Her favorites rotate. One of her current favorites is a wildly colorful book of fruits and vegetables organized by the letters of the alphabet. There is a capital A and a lower case a with pictures of artichokes, apples, asparagus, apricots, etc. I point to the letter and make the sound for phonetic pronunciation. She makes the sound after me. I have no idea how her mind is processing all this but her skills at repeating are phenomenal.

She just had her one year check up and vaccinations. The doctor sat on the floor with her which really impressed her dad, my son. She went off to the pile of books in the doctor’s office and said, “Book,” clapped her hands and brought one over to the doctor. It happened to be the same alphabet of food books she has at home. She was showing off. We call it her charm offensive. When the Doctor opened the book she said, “A” and ah (I’m not sure how to type out the sound phonetically.) She made the “b” sound and said banana as she pointed to the banana. She wowed the doctor. Her dad came home with the story and asked why I hadn’t told him. I said that it wasn’t really a reliable performance at this point but more a work in progress. I said that I thought she set out to impress and apparently did.

A lot of words get shortened. Bottle becomes “bot” which is hilarious when you think of Russia and hacking and bots. She knows “cat” and points out the window at the neighborhood outdoor cat. That particular cat has a horrid skreech. She may never learn to replicate a normal meow but her rendition of the skreech is spot on. It hurts my ears.

I find this whole process fascinating. I wish I could see into her mind and she how she is dealing with all this. Maybe science and technology will continue to advance and Maddie will be able to know what her future grandchild is thinking.

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