Friday, May 16, 2008

Toddler Communication

I am in awe everyday with Z's vocabulary. He seems to be coming up with new and interesting words all of the time. He is now putting these words together into somewhat recognizable phrases ("nice catch, where is ______ momma?, I sit momma etc.) and he loves to point and label things. Z will continue to label and object over and over until you repeat the word he says :)

Since the first day Z started making sounds, he was "telling stories". He loves to talk (like his parents) and even though he didn't have any words (well words that we understood) he would go on and on and on. He still does this but now we are able to catch a familiar word here and there.

I use to keep track of all of Z's words in his Baby Signs (R) Memory Book. This was when he only had 20-30 words. Now he has so many and I have not been able to keep track of them all in the book (so lazy). Besides, what am I going to do....brag at playgroup about how many words Z knows? I have to say that I try not to do that sort of thing. After all there is no race to win here people (I feel another blog post coming on).

They say that a toddler's caregiver understands best what the child is trying to say with their broken speech. This person can then act as an interpreter for the rest of the world and help the child get what they want/need. Well I feel like I am failing as Z's interpreter. I only catch words here and there and he often has to rely on his Baby Signs (R), pointing or me figuring out the context of what he is saying in order to communicate. I feel horrible when he looks at me and repeats a word over and over and I have no idea what he is saying. Most of the time he sounds like he is speaking German (maybe he is).

The other day Z was saying, "damat" and my sister asked me what he was saying. I replied with "damat" and she said, "no shit, what does that mean?". I couldn't tell her! I feel so badly that I am not able to understand Z at times. He speaks so fast and sometimes I feel as if I am back in French class with the professor speaking a mile a minute in a language that I could not comprehend.

For the most part, Z and I communicate pretty well. But many of his words sound the same and there are still words that he says that I do not have meaning for. I know as time passes, he will learn more words and I will be better able to understand him. But for now, my German child will have to bear with his mother who is so bad at learning foreign languages. Sorry Z!


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