I have been thinking a lot lately about language acquisition as I have been a first-hand witness over these past several months. It fascinates me that little toddlers learn how to conjugate verbs and create sentences simply by listening to others.
Maryn has been speaking in full coherent sentences for quite a few months now, which is both to her advantage and my detriment. She is a feisty little girl who knows what she wants and doesn’t let herself be pushed around by anyone, including her older brother and me. She is also very, very sweet and a true girly-girl. Even before I had Jonas, she loved to wrap her “babies” (any stuffed animal) in “blankets” (any piece of fabric). She has more recently been very vocal about her preference for all things pink, Care Bears, Tinker Bell and wearing her pretty hair bows. Her absolute favorite song is “Twinkle, twinkle little star”. She sings this song to herself all the time when she thinks no one else is listening. When she hears the song played, either by a toy or by someone singing it, she immediately shrieks, “It’s my twinkle star!”
The following are some examples of Maryn’s adorable language.
- In general, she has a very pronounced lisp when she says words with “s” in the end: Sefferths (her brother’s nickname- Seffers), Care Bearsh (which actually ends up sounding like an “sh” sound rather than a “th” sound)
- She never says the “s” sound on words that begin with “sn”: 'nake (snake), 'now (snow), 'poon (spoon), and my favorite: 'nuggle (snuggle)
- She can identify all colors: wed, ornedge, yayo, geen, boo, puple, peenk, wipe (white- I think you can guess all of the others). She also loves to color pictures (I'm pretty sure this is how she learned all her colors).
- Since moving to Champaign-Urbana (and even before!), whenever she sees the orange and blue University of Illinois "I" she says, "Oh-noy!" (Illinois).
- She calls her brothers Sefferths (as I mentioned before) and Bebe Donis (baby Jonas)
- She loves singing. Besides “Twinkle Star” she knows: “I Love You” (the Barney song), “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man” (with actions), “ABCs”, “I am a Child of God” among others. During our summer in Tucson, Jon noticed that if you sang the words to “Camptown Races”, at the end of the phrase, she would sing “Do-Da, Do-Da”. So cute. It would sound something like this:
Me: Maryn is our favorite girl
Maryn: Do-Da, Do-Da
Me: She’s the best girl in the world
Maryn: Do-Da, Do-Da day
- Also, you can catch her singing the Star Wars theme song. Star Wars (and Lego Star Wars videogame), as you will read in Jon's recent post, are on at our house a lot lately. Jon is particularly proud of this one.
- If you call her anything: pretty, sweet, little, etc., she says, “I not a pretty (or sweet or little) girl, I "Meh-win".
- She is intrigued by bugs. When she finds one in the house, she tries to smack it with her hand and says “Got you bug!” (meanwhile Seth is running away screaming in terror). She makes no discrepancies between butterflies and fireflies and calls them both “fie-fies”.
I love my beautiful little girl.
p.s. Seth still has his moments too: He and Jon are watching Empire Strikes Back right now. When Luke first arrives in Dagobah, he tells Yoda that he is looking for a great warrior, Seth turned to Jon and said, "Dad, what is a great Oreo?" (Jon helped me with the SW details here.)