Sep 8, 2008

A smattering of words for the week.

As I expected my word list for Bertram has fallen hopelessly behind. However that seems fine since it's clear that his verbal ability is doing just fine. This post is a bit haphazard since I'm over busy lately, but I do manage to include a good smattering of Bertram's words. And I had better get a move on listing them here because there is no way I'm going to keep up with him for long. Recent additions that I can still recall are: Elbow: wow, that's a mouth full for him, but he like it. And it's less painful to point out than a nose tweak. Belly / Belly Button: Luckily without a tweak involved at all. Toy: Nothing exciting to report other than the fact that he can use general and specific words for the same thing. And understands the abstract group "toys" Play: which he both says and signs. The sign is a double shaka, (a.k.a. the surfer hand signal, "hang loose") which I think is just great. He does not quite have the gesture down yet, but I imagine it might come in handy some day. Slide: Swing: Goose: surprised me, I didn't know he was learning that one but he spots it in the book and at the Zoo a couple of weekends ago. Which reminds me of the many other animals Bertram can identify and say: Duck: a long time favorite, he quacks too. Dog / Doggy: which he signs and says, and barks. (he is sometimes afraid of dogs but not always). I don't think he has picked up Puppy yet. Frog / Froggy: Butterfly: which started out Fly, but is getting the butter added on lately. I'd like to include Bumblebee because he loves to try and say it, but it's just to hard to get out that many syllables. And he's not content to call them "bees" so they are yet and un-mastered animal. Cat / Kitty Cat / Catty: He also says Meow, and is quite fond of cats, real and photo. Cow: He signs and says cow, but never has any interest in saying Moo. I recall when he first worked this word out, it was one of the first words he said, and he was still working out how to control the sounds he was making. We were out at a restaurant and had brought along a plastic cow from a farm set Grandma Tricia bought for Bertram birthday, and he correctly identified it as "cow" and was so delighted to have managed that that he went ahead and said cow some 50 or so times with various adjustments to the pronunciation. This super repetition was really only given to Cow and Fan, most other words popped up a few times a day for a couple of days, and then disappeared for a week or two before becoming standards. Now days a new word will get extra use for the first week but then does not seem to have the disappearing habit, it just goes into normal rotation. Lion: He loves to say and identify lions, though I think perhaps only male lions are clearly lions so far. Monkey: which he signs but does not say, or not much. It's quite a cute sign, just act like a monkey. His initial vague variation on the Monkey sign was very cute, but unlikely to mean monkey to anyone but his very attentive parents. Much like his Fish sign will only mean fish to us. But it's interesting to see how it has gradually started to get closer to the correctly executed sign. I don't think anyone would guess monkey, but I think they could see what he's trying to do. It's still cute, and when he gets it just right and can stick his finger in his armpits and wiggle them while saying "ooh ooh" I'm sure it will be both cute and embarrassing for the parents. (the saying ooh ooh part is not technically part of the sign, but I can't help doing it myself) In fact I have a bad habit of telling him he looks like a monkey when he is at the park and he grabs hold of the safety railing bars on the equipment and shakes them (well shakes himself) and screams with joy and tries to shove his face through the bars. And he often replies by signing Monkey. More useful words: Go: which he signs and says, an old standby that he's been using for a long time. Please: still working on using this one more but it's going OK. He signs and says please. And as added entertainment, in one of his alphabet books there is a picture of vegetables including "peas" which he can correctly identify, but along with the sign for "please" which means we are probably being very confusing to him suggesting that he ought to say "peas" when he wants some toast or a cookie. But he takes it in stride. Thank You: which he says sometimes and has for quite a while, but now he says it at more appropriate times. He has a habit of picking up small things (like the things that should not be on the floor of an infants home such as bits of paper, fuzz, leafs) and handing them to you. To which we always reply thank you. Or when he hands us his ball or toy to share we say thank you. So Bertram figured that out quick and so whenever he gave you something he would say "thank you" well "ankoo". But he's got that pretty well sorted out and knows that you also say it when getting something. Early on Bertram loved talking and used his words at home and out, but lately he has become very shy. He won't even say hi and goodbye most of the time. Which covers two more words; interestingly he says Goodbye not bye, but only uses hello on the phone (toy cellphones, or when he grabs our phones), but says hi to greet people. Not sure he knows Hello : Hi are the same greeting or if he knows why you say "hello" on the phone at all. I've been trying to get him to say "I would like a large peperoni pizza" whenever he is on the cell phone, but that's been going no where so far.

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