Tuesday, July 19, 2005


By the age of 18 months, children can already recognize product logos.
But they can't distinguish between programming and advertising until
about age eight..

Thursday, July 14, 2005

belaboring the point

By the twentieth month, 50% of toddlers can use fifty or more words. By the twenty-third month, 75%.

Sorry to go on and on about it, but I'm a talker and so is Jaime. Plus, I have lots of funny word memories. Skylar's first word, that I remember, was "cookie." I still have a perfect vision in my head of Cory as a toddler standing at the top of the basement stairs at dad's house talking passionately to no one with a great deal of inflection in what sounded like a foreign language, his little toddler pot belly sticking out.

That is something that fascinates me. Kids learn words. Then learn conversational inflection separately. Then, put them together. This evening, at the dinner table, David turned to us and spoke an entire clearly articulated sentence in a completely unknown language.

later, glossolalia fans

100 words (more) or less

While I was typing the last post, Jaime worked on a list of words David uses unprompted in response to stimulus (pronunciations or definitions in paranthesis):

Suzie (hooszie), Cory, Collin, Kim, Omie (common promunciation for "Naomi," friend from church/occational baby-sitter), Abby, Tuff, Coco, Mommy, Daddy, Papa, Nina, Nanna, baby, tia (spanish, for "aunt"), doctor, Carl ("Good Dog . . ."), milk, water, juice, egg, oatmeal (omeal), cookie, cracker, pizza, butter (p,b, &j), cheese, yogurt (yogur), Os (for Cheerios), tots (tater tots), bread, tiger, flamingo (mingo), bear (beer), dog, kittie, doggie, puppy, mouse, duck, catapiller (piller), cow, horse, llama (yama), lion, hippo, bunny, ball, wagon, stairs, car, bed, crib, bink, chair, shoes, toes, elmo, park, slide, ear, eye, nose, head, hat, blocks, phone, talk, bib, in, out, up, down, ride, walk, hug, kiss, bath, please (pees), thank you (titoo), welcome, see ya, bye, hi, good dog, go, boat, zoo, "B"

He can make the following animal noise upon request:
snake (ssssss)
lior (roar)
gorilla (bangs chest and yells ahhhhh)
goat (hard to describe, sounds like a goat)
cat (meow)
dog (woof)
duck (quack)
rooster (dooo! (as in "cocka doodle doo")
monkey (ooh ooh ahh ahh)
frog (ribbet)

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.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

digging in the dirt

digging in the dirt
Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

why do we forget our childhood?

Cognitive Daily � Why do we forget our childhood?: "memories simply are not ever encoded in language, and for that reason, never become part of an adult’s autobiographical memory."


via Daddytypes

cory cory cory

David and I spent Fathers' Day weekend in Salina with dad (who claims to have "corresponded" with internet superstar, Dooce). I haven't written much about the weekend because. . . well, just because.

Cory hung out with us as well. When David first saw Cory, he was naturally scared and we had to go through the whole, "it's uncle Cory, remember, from last weekend?" Eventually, though, David warmed up to him. By Saturday evening, he was even saying Cory's name. Once, Cory went into his room and closed the door, and locked it, and barred it, and turned on the alarm, and David stood outside rattling the handle saying "Cory, Cory, Cory, Cory." Then he would wander around the room repeating his name.

On Sunday, we went to Cory's baseball game. David ran around, played with puppies, flirted with toddler girls, CLIMBED UP THE BLEACHERS, and had a good time. When a team arrived to prepare for the next game, they brought a three gallon bucket of balls and set it down by the bleachers. David was in heaven. He pulled balls out and lined them up on the sidewalk and threw them and yelled "ball!" and "beesball!"

Whenever Cory was up to bat, I would stop David and take him to the fence to watch.


Earlier this evening David and I were playing catch. He stood on the porch and lobbed the baseball down the steps where I stood. I would catch it and toss it back so that it rolled past him. He would fetch it and throw it again. Every time I caught it, he would laugh. Of course the whole time we are doing this, he is babbling his inane little babble about nothing in particular. Then, at one point, while chasing down the ball, he started saying "Cory, Cory, Cory."

later, baseball fans.

bad tv habits may be bad for you

Who would allow a third-grader to have a TV in his/her bedroom?

It bothers me when research is cited without linking to the actual published paper. But this is interesting to me anyway since TV is a subject that comes up a lot even though David's only interest so far is the buttons.
A new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University indicates that third-graders with televisions in their bedrooms perform significantly more poorly on standardized tests than their peers without.
After reading Freakonomics I am obligated to note that the researchers don't have enough data to show causality:
The researchers speculate that the link may have more to do with other factors, such as the fact that children with bedroom televisions have been shown to sleep less than their peers, or that the minority of parents who allow a home computer but prohibit a bedroom television may be more engaged in their child's education.
Lastly, I am also obligated to point out my oposition to defining a child's success in life based on standardized tests. Freakonomics spends a lot of time debunking popular child-rearing myths based on standardized test results. While it is good to look at the stats they offer to get a clearer picture of how parenting may or may not work, it has to be done with the understanding that my primary concern as a parent is not measured by these tests. Case in point--statistical analysis shows that reading to your child does not positively affect standardized test scores, but I am confident that this interaction does have other positive benefits not directly connected to education.

Friday, July 01, 2005

in which i type perhaps the last joke i'll ever be able to post

If you were to ask me to list the top five days of my whole life, slot one or two would be four years ago today. After knowing each other for a couple of years, dating for a couple of weeks, and being engaged for a couple of months, Jaime and I were married on July 1, 2001.

It was hot, if memory serves.

Otherwise, it was just one of those days that went off without a hitch (no pun intended)--or the hitches were minor compared to the groove of happiness that I rode the whole day.

The fours years since then have been pretty great as well. Jaime and I still occationally turn to one or the other and marvel that we are actually married. It seemed so unlikely even five years ago and has been so great that it is hard sometimes to believe.

Here is a great little story, to embarrass Jaime:

I kept our B&B reservations on our wedding night a secret. Jaime knew we were going to St. Louis the next day, but not where we were spending the night. At dinner with a group of family and friends, she turned to me and asked: "How far are we going tonight."
Without missing a beat, I replied, "We just got married, we're going all the way."

Happy anniversary, Jaime.