Friday, August 20, 2010

Wordy B

We’re missing sweet B, A, and H very much right now, and blessing iChat as usual. We’re noticing a tremendous and fascinating spurt of language from B.

During a long-distance chat late last week, she at one point put her finger to her ear (“I hear something”), and then said, “I hear beep-beep coming back.” (A firetruck was returning to its station beyond the back fence.) This is fairly sophisticated word use for 25 months.

But sophisticated, schmisticated. A few nights ago, we were watching and chatting as H gave B her bath. It was a jolly, splashing, bubbly background for a rare chance to catch up with H, who is recovered from her gallbladder surgery but has been really kept hopping as a second year resident, now with supervisory responsibilities.

When bath time was over, H stood B up to rinse off all the bubbles, and poured a container of water down her side. B hunched a bit, looked at us and exclaimed, “Code water!” And then, “Weird!” Surprised, we laughed. She laughed back, and when the second stream of water hit her, she shouted “Weird!” again. Then again, of course, and again, as we continued to react and laugh. A comedian who’d discovered a great joke.

Later, in her bedroom, she took an illicit jump on her couch and wound up doing an unintentional back flip, fortunately landing on the soft pillow. “I’m all right!” she shouted—another phrase we’d not heard from her before—nonetheless not avoiding a gentle motherly rebuke, not to mention a cluck or two from this side of the screen. No doubt she’ll come up with something more effective next time. She seems to be creeping closer to an understanding that words have an effect beyond the descriptive. Soon, it will be on to the manipulative. Isn’t that weird?

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