It is amazing just how much a little girl can develop and learn all in a week’s time! And I never ceased to be amazed by all of the little things I see unfolding before my eyes. I have said it before, and likely will say it again: you can read all about children’s development in a textbook, but it’s nothing compared to watching it happen with your own eyes. Now I know why Piaget used his own children as the inspiration for his theory of development. In my opinion, he got it right. No wonder either, when you are simply putting words to what children do, it’s kind of hard to go wrong.
If I had to put words to what Azrielle has been doing this week it would have to be “talking”. I think that she is a little ahead of the game when it comes to this portion of development. Last week she began using at least one new word each day. At first, I didn’t even realize what was happening. But when she woke up one morning, sat up in her crib, signed ‘eat’ with her hands and then proceeded to very clearly say “eat” it kinda hit me right between the eyes and it dawned on me…oh my word! She said like two or three new words the last couple of days too! So then I started keeping track. And sure enough, every day out of her mouth would come a new word. Amazing. So amazing. Especially since smart people with big college degrees still don’t know exactly how language is acquired. I mean, there are lots of theories and guesses, but no “for sure” answers.
All I know is that it is amazing just how many words and word associations a 14 month old can make. After “eat” it was “shoes”, which she says more like “dooes”. I think the whole shoe thing is fitting; Klayton says she has way too many shoes for being such a little girl. Then came “eeyesss”, “noosse”, “earss”, “teethh”, all while pointing to each corresponding body part, and “ouch”! She likes to scream “Ouch” at me as a change her diaper…I mean really? All this in addition to her constant questioning “what’sss thisss?” “What isss it?”, and her never-ending talking on the phone “ahhhh yeah?! ahhhhh yeah?!” followed by a stream of gibberish.
Not only is she saying so many new words and labeling body parts in just seven days, but she is ever so interested in animals. “Hot” was her first word, which was partly due to the exposure of my friend the coffee mug every morning on my way out the door to work, and also because of her fascination with the oven. Her second word was “kitty, woof.” We have been working on this whole association. And she is finally getting it, Kitty’s say “mmmmmmm” and doggy’s say “woof! woof!”. Now whenever she hears a bird, or wants to look out the window at her bird feeder it’s “teet, teet, teeeet”. She points to the cow in Goodnight Moon and says, in a low voice mind you, “Mooooooh”. She point to the fire in the same book and proudly proclaims “hot”! And searches for that teeny tiny mouse and in a high squeaky voice says “keek, keek, keek” which is her current pronounciation for “squeak”.
Yesterday she began saying “no”, in the cutest little high pitched voice that it almost makes this wicked annoying word not so wicked annoying; almost, but not quite. Today she pointed to the stars in Goodnight Moon and some glow in the dark ones on her Auntie’s ceiling and said “tarssss”. Her Auntie’s then proceeded to drill “moon” into her. I guess we will be going star gazing soon.
On top of all of the words that are popping out of her mouth, her little imagination is beginning to emerge. She loves blanket forts and underneath the lowest shelf in my pantry as of this week. She will crawl into the fort and sit there banging on the wall and gibber jabbing to herself for a half hour. In the pantry hideout she gets her blanket and her baby and crawls in towing both things behind her. Then she sits there arranging her blanket and baby and talking to herself. She found a stray chocolate chip on the floor while I was making cookies, ate some of it, and then noticed one had melted on the floor in her hideout. So, she moved her baby aside, crawled over to the towel drawer, took one out, climbed back to her hideout and proceeded to wipe the melted chocolate off of the floor. Ok, so maybe it’s not so much imagination as it is imitating. But still, it’s adorable to watch, and amazing that it seems to happen over night. I so just love watching her development unfold before my eyes. I think that Heraclitus was correct: time is a game that is played by children, and it is beautiful to watch.