Seeing Nugget making her developmental leaps has been a pretty amazing experience for me. She’s definitely been doing a great job keeping me on my toes with every new skill that she’s added to her arsenal, even if some of them are quieter in nature. And yet, being that I am someone who spends a lot of his time in front of crowds talking, there’s something that’s been even cooler to me than watching Nugget take a couple of steps or seeing her draw intently.
I’m enthralled with the way that she’s been going about picking up speech.
Admittedly, my interest in Nugget developing speech isn’t limited to my own (potentially severe) addiction to performance. Far from it. I mean, the more words that she wraps her little head around, the better she’ll be at communicating her needs and desires with me. This will only serve to make my time with her much easier in the long run, as I’ll be able to shift from guessing what she’s trying to say to having a firm grasp. While I’ve been pretty good at guessing so far, I am loving that the whole thing is just going to get easier for the time being. Of course, it will eventually get more difficult, when I have to start taking into account inflection, and what she’s saying while not saying it, but that’s neither here nor there. For now, I’m just going to revel in the fact that, with every passing day (it seems), Nugget has another word or two thrown into her vocabulary, and that she’s addressing her desires pretty clearly.
I would imagine that it’s somewhat standard, but the way that Nugget goes about learning new words is to hear them enough times, and then start mumbling them to herself. I can generally tell that she’s working on something new to say if she’s spending a lot of time talking, but talking just barely loud enough to be heard. It’s possible that she’s communicating some deep cover intelligence to her stuffed Grover, but I’m more inclined to believe that she’s wrapping her mouth around the consonants and vowels to make the word sound right. After all, how many spy organizations would really be interested in utilizing someone who still falls when they walk, and is still wearing diapers on a regular basis. This is why the James Bond movies keep switching up the actor playing Bond.
Of course, while she’s adding new words to the ones she speaks, she’s also clearly getting a better grasp on understanding what I’m saying. The best example of this is how I can now ask her if it’s time to get dressed, and she will immediately go to her room and stand at the dresser, waiting patiently for me to pick out her clothes for the day. Sometimes she’ll even try to help with this task, although she hasn’t quite yet gained HawtWife’s fashion sense, so I end up vetoing some of her choices (I know that I’ll only be able to do that for a little longer, so I’m going to try to keep her in somewhat close to matching attire for now).
And that brings us to today, when Nugget decided to point out that she didn’t have socks on her feet yet. Admittedly, she says feet with an added “s” sound at the end, and socks started with a “sh” sound, but it was close enough that I was pretty giddy. I clearly don’t expect her to have clear, distinct speech yet. Heck, half of the time I barely have clear, distinct speech, and that’s because I have a tendency to talk too quickly, so my words all run together. She at least has the excuse that she’s still learning how to talk, that her teeth aren’t all in, and that her mouth is still developing. This is why I don’t give her grief over her pronunciation of things like “ball”, “socks”, or “giraffe” (no, I’m not just making up that last one to be funny. She actually says “graf”). If anything, I’m just continually amazed at the grasp of vocabulary she’s developed, at this tender young age.
I may have to work on how she says “sit”, though. Either that, or I’m going to spend a lot of time getting dirty looks while I try not to laugh too hard.