Wednesday, April 18, 2007

the ducks and the joker

these are the two new words that got added onto sanah's repertoire today.

duck is a word i have been using since the day she was born. she has a whole family of yellow ducks that float in her tub when i bathe her. and she has never cared to name them or repeat after me. today she suddenly began pounding the bathroom door shouting something i did not catch. i lept up with joy, thinking my toilet training was succesful. we opened the door and instead of turning left toward the potty she stood under the sink platform and shouted ' duk , duk...'. took me a while to realise that she wanted the duck family. until today she ignored the word so completely i thought she hated ducks.

joker- a word i used for the first time. a beautiful word book that my mom gifted sanah has a lovely drawing of a jester whom i called joker. of all the words- from a to z- sanah took a shine to this word and this picture. i thought she was falling asleep in the afternoon when she jumped up asking for 'joka'. she brought the word book and opened it to the correct page. smiled. held the book and dozed off.

watching sanah use language is fascinating, perplexing. what word catches her fancy is intriguing. she uses a word for a while and abandons it as suddenly as she began using it. i think the word has slipped out of her mind. out of the blue she pulls it out of some crevice and uses it. she NEVER repeats a word that i try valiantly to teach her. she ignores me or worse makes fun of me by saying papa or nana when i say ' sanah say biscuit', or 'say table' or whatever it is i want her to say. the usual ritual is that SHE points to an object and i have to name it for her. and then she moves onto the next object. so if you see me walking on the road, passing a garage, rattling-yes, thats a red car, a blue car, a green car, a silver car...... you know what i am doing.

and now she suddenly slips in two word sentences. but largely relies on elaborate sign language to communicate complex ideas. thats not surprising, both g and i gesticulate wildly while talking. i guess sanah thnks thats the primary form of communication, words are secondary.


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