Monday, November 28, 2005

A Day Of Progress

This morning, Sonshine read a small book. He is now officially a Reader. He's been making a lot of progress toward this goal over the last few months, and we are proud of him.

Bagel is making much slower progress toward being a Talker. Or, rather, toward speaking English. He's clearly talking all the time; we just don't understand what he's trying to say. He gets very frustrated when he speaks to us in Baby-Lonian and we don't understand him. While he understands his own name and a wide range of words (including "hot," "yucky," "yummy," "sit down," and "diaper change"), he doesn't say them. He's had two English words-- "dada" and "this"-- for ages, and he recently started calling my mom "Nana" even though the other kids call her "Nonny". We've thought we heard him use other words and even phrases-- "look at this," "candle"-- but he never used them consistently to refer to the same thing. At this age, he should have more than three words in his vocabulary, and I'm starting to worry about him. But today we can confirm he's picked up another word: "Jesus".

Bagel is a big fan of seasonal displays. He was fascinated by pumpkins this fall; he took daily trips out to the yard to see and pat the pumpkins, and he gave me dirty looks when I carved scary faces in them for Halloween. Yesterday we put out our nativity set, so naturally Bagel wanted to take a look at it. I held him up and pointed out the pieces: "This is Joseph, this is Mary, this is a cow, this is the baby Jesus! Shhh! the baby Jesus is sleeping!" (Our baby Jesus has its eyes closed.) Bagel was fascinated by the nativity set and wanted to look at it for extended periods of time. This didn't surprise me, but I was astonished when this morning he pointed to it and said "Jesus!" He's done it several times now, and he doesn't call anything else "Jesus," so that makes "Jesus" an Official Vocabulary Word.

It's not exactly your conventional baby vocabulary word, and it doesn't solve very many of Bagel's communication problems, but it'll do. Personally, I would have preferred he learn some of the useful words we've been trying to teach him for months, like "baba" and "more," which would reduce his dissatisfaction rate by quite a bit. Then again, Sonshine's first word was "fish," so I suppose he fits right into our family.