So often lately Coraline has said a word that we couldn’t quite guarantee was her truly understanding it. There was significant evidence, but room for doubt. She is just babbling.
This is common with Coraline who will only use any particular skill once for quite some time, observe and consider it some, repeat it once or twice to test the waters, and then try again when she feels she truly understands it (crawling, walking, any skill she has ever acquired has been tested, abandoned, and retried before actively using it like this).
As a person who has actively studied language acquisition in child development, watching this is so fascinating.
As a parent, it has a bit of sorrow. My baby is not a baby. She is a toddler. A child. A kid. My heart hurts just a bit to watch this happening. My child is growing so fast. In one year my baby has changed so drastically. babies crawl. Babies walk. Babies play. But kids talk.
Mama. She stopped using it. My suspicion is that it really was being used properly, but it is likely that she concluded it did not get her much of what she wanted and it might not have been a successful acquisition since we know her body language so well that her emotions and actions are more successful. I have always been so in tune with her sounds and emotions that I haven’t really given her space to have any need to use “mama” any more.
Dada seems to work and, for her, the use of it seems to be needed, but again, is it babbling? Yet she understands when we say dada to her now, like when I told her this morning that dada was awake, and she immediately looked at him and blew him a kiss.
Several times so far she has said things like, “Dada, all done” to get his attention to let her get down from her high chair, or just “all done” to me. Again, was it coincidence? And yet she truly was all done, and he was the only one watching her, and she chose that one time that he was reading something and not aware of her to get his attention.
Today though this “all done” was followed by a pause where she looked at me. I looked at her. When I did not respond (I was testing her intentionally), she started rubbing her hands all through her food, which knocked most of it down (a former sign of being done). As soon as I started moving to let her go she went still, waiting patiently.
No more doubt. This girl can talk.
Yesterday we tested her receptive vocabulary by asking her to hand us the _____ stuffed animal. Alligator she seems to be experimenting with (she can say it as “aligala,” but only says it when we are holding it and still was sort of slow to retrieve it when requested), Monkey and Dog though she actively hands to us when we ask for each. Seeing her understand names of animals to such an extent is just shocking.
She has been giving us kisses upon request for a long time, but very often it seemed to be followed with some hesitation. As if she is thinking, I think this action is typically accompanied with this word. Are there exceptions to this rule, ever? As well as confusion if it occurs out of its original context. Now she will blow kisses to her family in any context (when she is in the mood anyway), even upon hearing the word in our casual conversation.