The magic of Spring seems to have extended itself to my children. Whilst outside sticky buds have burst open pushing forth vibrant green leaves, and little splashes of colour are popping up where before there was only brown earth, inside I am noticing lots of small changes and developmental leaps in the boys.
JJ is becoming more independent, rejecting offers of help with dressing himself, becoming a bit of a whizz on a tablet and soaking up information like a little sponge (just in time for starting school come September – first choice and we’re in – huzzah!). At four years and 8 months he helps me by keeping an eye on his little brother and alerting me to any potential dangers. Meanwhile EJ has suddenly, after a couple of months of silence and nonsense baby babble, started saying recognisable words. This is probably the most exciting development for me as, at nearly 21 months, I was beginning to feel a bit anxious. For a while it was either ‘yea’, ‘noooo!’ or ‘yay!’, all of a sudden he is very clearly saying ‘mummy’, ‘daddy’, ‘thank you’, ‘hello’, ‘tea’, ‘cheese’ (those two are possibly interchangeable!) and then, this morning, and very clearly, ‘apple’.
I realise this is hardly earth shattering but it brought back a memory of when JJ and his friends were at the same stage. I remember one of my friend’s little boy’s first words was ‘apple’, and it was a bit like his party piece for a while, thrilling us all no less than a clever magician’s illusion could have done, proving to us in no uncertain terms that there is such a thing as an everyday miracle.
For a long time I persuaded and cajoled JJ to re-enact this feat of language by repeating the word ‘apple’ over and over – those two distinct syllables hanging in the air like a misremembered incantation.
For some reason when language did finally come to JJ it came with gutteral ferocity: anyone would have thought that he was being brought up in some Kaiser’s regime or Arabic sheikh’s desert caravan the amount of sounds that emanated from the very back of his throat. Of course that wore off eventually but there is still the odd reminder of that strange vocal phase.
As a lover of language and the vast vocabulary available to the English speaking world I have been guilty (perhaps somewhat mischieviously) of trying to implant words and phrases from the more high-fallutin’ end of the scale. There was a short period where I attempted to pass on two words I like to live by: ‘deferred gratification’ – sod patience! And for a while he dropped ‘furred gatty cation’ randomly and without purpose, into a conversation, but, let’s face it, there is always going to be more magic in that first ‘apple’ than anything that follows…
PS – this post was brought to you by a confirmed PC user.
PPS – for more random thoughts on the miracle of language acquisition please see my previous post here.
I’m linking this post to Magic Moments over at the Oliver’s Madhouse for obvious reasons!