Monday, October 11, 2010


The dink's antics never cease. I think this might be what the next ten years will look like...

The dink's short-term memory is getting a little longer. Or maybe it's just that his vocabulary is now allowing him to tell me what he's thinking about. Lately, we seem to close out the day with him reminiscing about the people he saw or the things he did within the past 24-48 hours, or even up to a week when it's really memorable (like when he got to ride in Maman's big orange minivan with his baby cousin E). Sunday night, when I was trying to sing the ABCs so patiently with him, he couldn't stop thinking about how he had gotten to feed our friends' dog a treat while we were over there watching the Saints game. Every fourth or fifth letter, he'd interrupt me to say "Max. Dog. Cookie."

Bless the Tractor
Since he loves talking about the people he knows/sees so much, we close out the nighttime routine by naming them in our prayers. We go through a dozen or so family members, usually in a similar order, so the dink has come to anticipate each name before it's said. The other night, though, I guess he was reminiscing about a visit to Papa's house, because I said "God, please bless..." and the dink replied: "Papa's tractor."

Daddy Bobo
Last month, J managed to scrape off an obscene amount of skin on his shin trying to slide into a base during some ridiculous middle-of-the-night, law firm vs. law firm softball game. I don't think the result was as entertaining as he had planned. But he sure did garner a lot of genuine concern from one little guy over the injury. For two weeks, he had this 5-6 inch bright red scab on his leg that the dink watched him bandage every morning. And every evening, around the time J comes home, the dink would start asking me "Daddy bobo? Daddy bobo?" like he couldn't wait until J came home to assess the improvement of the bobo. A couple times when the dink looked at it up close, he would actually whimper with sadness for daddy or even back away, like he was scared of the bobo. Mark it down as the dink's first experience in empathy.

Go Away, Kitty Kitty
This one really breaks my heart. I've been so proud of the dink's love for his kitties (now kitty), and especially thankful that he hasn't shown any signs of allergy to them yet like his daddy. But one of the disadvantages of having an outdoor cat is that sometimes you end up feeding more than your own. Lately, it seems we've been feeding the entire neighborhood, but I really think that's because a colony of stray cats is reproducing behind the abandoned house a few doors down. And as much as I love cats, I'm trying not to let my heart bleed over all of these new little ones that are waiting for me on the outskirts of the driveway when I get home with the dink in the afternoon. So when I see them eating Number Two's food, I yell "Go away, cat! You don't live here!" And oh, how quickly the dink has caught on. He now thinks every cat needs to be yelled at. Where previously, when the dink saw a picture of a cat in one of his books, he would press the book up against his chest and say "Hug, kitty, hug," now he points that little finger accusingly at any cat he sees (real or illustrated) and starts yelling "Go away, kitty kitty!" at least 7-8 times per viewing. It kills me. It really does.

I just love witnessing the dink's acquisition of language. It's one of those topics that have always fascinated me...and reflecting on the idiosyncrasies of the dink's syntax is proving to be much more exciting than reading Chomsky. One thing that cracks me up is that, although his pronunciation of English words is pretty accurate about 80% of the time, the rest of the time he's like a native French speaker learning English as an adult.

After he got a scrape on his leg, I gave the dink his first themed Bandaid--Dora the Explorer. I don't think the dink even knows who Dora is, and I only bought them in the first place because they were really cheap...but nevertheless the dink was super excited about it, and requested a "Beebee Dora" every single day after his bath or in the morning until the whole box was gone. It was so funny to me how he would put the descriptor "dora" after the word bandaid, like he was speaking a romance language. But I tried not to say the silly phrase back to him too much, and after a while he switched to "Dora Beebee." The real confusion came in later, when I treated him to a much more expensive box of Sesame Street Bandaids, and after he got the first one on his knee, he began talking about his "Elmo Dorabeebee" for the rest of the weekend. And last night before bed he was dying for an "Abby Dorabeebee"....what have I started here?

The other strange construction he's doing is starting sentences off with what sounds like "C'est," the French way of saying "It's." I think it started with him telling us to see this or that, but now the phrase starts just about every other sentence he utters. "C'est Elmo Dorabeebee..." yikes.

One thing he's doing really well is practicing hard on pronouncing especially the ending syllables of words. After he says something like book or milk, you can hear him repeating "kuh, kuh" under his breath for extra emphasis. And when saying plurals, another new skill, he always throws in an extra sss or two at the end ("keys-ss"). And just last week, he started occasionally using the word and. One afternoon, he must have told me 20 times in a row "Mommy AND Daddy. Mommy AND Daddy." That's a good one start with, at least. Much better than "Juice AND cookie" or "Bert AND Ernie."

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