Saturday, November 10, 2007

One Giant Leap

I have written about my worries about the twins’ language development before.

I am not overly concerned because I know they are low on the bell curve but not off of it. And also because I know intellectually that Noah was (and is) linguistically gifted. And in comparison the average child would look slow, and Ethan and Luka are below the average.

But Ethan took a big jump forward recently.

He recognized letters. And he kept pointing to them. One day Michael said, “That’s a B!”. Ahhhh!! “B!!” he shrieked, and pointed at all the other letters he saw in his world and proclaimed them, “B”. He thought that the word for “letter” was “B”. We would tell him the name of every letter he looked at but he insisted it was B.

Then came “Y”.

There was a B and a Y right beside each other. Pointing back and forth I showed him, “B…Y…B…Y….B….Y. Get it?”

And the light bulb went on. It was near blinding.

Like Helen Keller in Miracle Worker, he dragged me around the house in a giddy hysteria, pointing at every letter he could find demanding I tell him what it was called. And he would shout it out.

For two days he followed me around with a piece of paper saying “Rye! Rye!!” He had just met Noah’s best friend’s little brother, Rye, and I thought he wanted to see him. It went on for days. “RYE!!!” “RYE!!!”

Then one day he had found a pencil, and on came my own personal light bulb. “Oh, WRITE? You want me to write???” And he nearly burst into tears with relief. “Rye!!!!!!!!! Yeah, rye!!!”

I took the paper and the pencil and drew him an A. “A”, I said. I thought he was going to burst. He giggled with glee as I slowly drew a B. The slower I drew the letters the more giddy joy he got out of it. “Ceeeeeeee...”

The first day, I just taught him the ones he could pronounce. Six letters. The next day he had 11. Then 17, and by the end of 4 days it was all 26. And now he follows me around with the MagnaDoodle like he is carrying a suitcase and begs me 30 times a day to write the alphabet. We had to move on to the numbers 1-10 and 5 different shapes in order to keep Mom's sanity.

Ethan now officially knows more letters than he knows words.


Where is Luka in all this linguistic frenzy? He is coming along in his own way.

He has picked up some sign language and uses it with delight. He does the sign for bed and ball with glee when he sees either one. He can sign “more”, “milk” and “all done”.

He says, “Woooow!!!” all drawn out and with true wonder in his voice.

He says “foobah” for any kind of food. It came from “fruit bar”. He says “kitty”. He says “fffshh” for fish. He has the word, “door” down cold and uses it when he wants us to open anything. He can raise his hands and yell, "Ta-da!!!"

He can make a car sound, bark like a dog and make an elephant noise. I think that about covers it.

Oh wait, he also calls me “Daddy”.

His non-verbal skills, however, are through the roof. You almost always know what he wants or means. He points and nods and uses facial expressions better than Marcel Marceau.

But if you say, “Luka, can you say “hat”? He will look at you all serious and nod “yes, I can”.

One day, maybe, he will show us.


Snowbird said...

And yes folks, she is telling the truth. I heard Ethan with my own ears over the phone go through the entire alphabet. You should have seen the grin on Grandma's face. And an even bigger grin when later he said, "Hi Beyuh". That's the first time he has called me that. Hey Mama, you need to teach Luka the sign for I Love You now. And how about some name signs. Then maybe he wouldn't call you Daddy all the time. :-)

Wrath said...

....and I can verify the truth about Luka. Michael and I were consulting on an issue of great importance.....for my son on his B-day.

While Michael was trying to click on some pictures of eBay products, each new picture would prompt an excited "Woowww!!!" from Luka.




The internet is going to keep him amused for sometime yet.

Derek said...

Although I haven't seen Ethan and Luka for several months, it hadn't even occurred to me that they didn't talk. I mean, I know intellectually that they didn't, but in my conception of them I feel like I always communicated with them really naturally.

Like I'd be holding Ethan, and we'd look at each other and I'd say, "Hey, Ethan. Whaddya think, buddy?" He'd reach over and grasp the end of my nose, and we'd make eye contact, and he'd say without speaking, "Got your nose."