Today I asked the girls, "Where is Little Boy?" (Of course, I used his name) and Big Girl answered, "You have to yell, 'Little Boy.' " (Of course, she also used his name, and said it in a falsetto, like you would if you were calling someone.)
Little Girl gestured toward two lawn chairs sitting in the middle of the sidewalk, and said something, and when I thought about it, I decided it sounded like she said "There's chairs." We're at the stage where no one hears what they say, except me, but I also have the most invested since I'm the one who's with them the most, and I do the mouth and tongue exercises, and work with them to pronounce words, so it could be my imagination, but I doubt it.
Little Boy picks a sound, repeats it for months, and then never says it again. Right now he says, "mama" but not like it's a name, or my name, but just like it's the sound he says when he wants to say something. He started with "yeah" using all kinds of inflections, then went to "gah!" and then "ba-ba-ba-ba" and now "mama." I say that he's trying out the whole alphabet before he decides to start talking.
He uses signs, occasionally spontaneously, so he does communicate, but he obviously feels that the burden of responsibility lies with the other person. There is no making him talk, that's for sure. I put him through the same exercises as the girls, but they are eager to please, and really make a good attempt, while he looks at me like I'm an interesting science experiment. I was trying to get him to say "cookie" and was right in his face, modeling the pursed lips for him, while slowly enunciating the word, "cooooo-kie" and he suddenly leaned in and planted a big smooch on my lips, so obviously we're communicating on some level.
|Little Girl is a champion pretender.|
|Another mom who blogs said she imaginatively named this game "bottles and lids."|
|I didn't get the idea from her, but because the play food was so unidentifiable, I thought they'd be able to relate to containers like the ones Mom actually uses. I don't drink out of the shampoo bottle, though, I promise!|
|Different day, this little girl was so cute, pretending to feed the dolly.|
|So cute, I couldn't resist, and had to join in.|
|Big Girl rarely pretends, but would rather sit and manipulate a toy in front of her face over and over again, while talking to herself. I've been meaning to work on teaching her to play, so we got her in the act, and brought in some more props...|
|She was more than happy to join in, and jumped right in, pretending with the best of us.|
|I didn't mention that S. saw we were having a tea party, and playing mommies to the babies, so she joined in, too. Once upon a time, she used to love tea parties for dolls with tiny porcelain dishes.|
|It helps that we've been hanging out with our new Baby Boy, so taking care of babies is definitely current event.|
|Chief cook and bottle washer. She can often be found, whipping up something delicious on the play stove. Thanks to her big sister N. for the lovely play kitchen!|
|Meanwhile, the nature boy had better things to do, like discover the properties of water.|
|Actually, he did sit with us for awhile and pretend, but apparently play food doesn't measure up to real food. Besides, Little Girl got annoyed with him because he kept trying to give her doll a drink through her foot. Boys!|