Thursday, July 14, 2005

generally pulling the ears of crazy paraguayans

David did a pretty remarkable thing a couple of days ago; he grabbed Tuff's ear, looked at me and said "ear." He has been identifying his own ears for several weeks as well as Jaime's and mine. To be able to understand that ears exist not just in a few specific contexts, but in many different contexts is called "generalization." Being able to generalize is an important stage of development. David is sometimes good at it--he can identify any dog anywhere no matter the shape or size--sometimes not so good--he calls otters "kittens" and squirrels "bears." But to look at the things sticking up off of Tuff's head like the broken wings of a bat from an animated Halloween feature, and call them "ears" was an amazing intuitive leap, in my opinion. Tuff was not as impressed about having his ear tugged. He whipped around and snipped at David, putting his teeth around the boy's arm, but not biting down. This alarmed Jaime. So both of exclaimed excitedly: "did you see that generalization/him about get bitten?!"

According to "What to Expect the Toddler Years" says that by sixteen months 50% of toddler can use six words. David can use an uncountable number of words by this point. So much so that strangers have stopped assuming that he can talk well for his age and now assume that he is simply small for his age, which they think is higher because of the words. He is not forming too many sentences beyond "[noun], please" but his articulation is improving to the point where some of his most common words are losing the baby accent altogether.

I got to experience a strange new feeling Sunday--the feeling of tense trepidation as David looked out the window at me while being driven away by a crazy Paraguayan. My Aunt Nancy (Mom's brother's wife) loves babies and wanted some play time with David. The only time that he sees her is at family gatherings out at my grandparents--maybe five times his whole life. Well Sunday, Nancy wanted to see David and asked if she could come pick him up.
Me: "come pick him up? And do what?"
N (with Paraguayan accent): "Just hang out. We could go to my place, or out for ice cream."
Me: " . . . ok"

So she did. Came by, put him in our car, and drove away. David is not super keen on strangers right now, so I didn't expect them to make it down the block. Three hours later, she brought him back. Said they had a great time.

No comments: