Sunday, July 02, 2006

oooh...smarty pants!!!

Some friends of J's came to the island for a visit this Canada Day long weekend. They're about our age- early 30s and they have two really cute and very blonde kiddies! Cormick is now 5 and Larissa is 2.

J and I once talked about how smart kids can be a handful and with our luck, our kids will probably be a handful and a half!! Kids who are very smart can sometimes be too smart for their own!

This weekend was a blast, observing Cormick and Larissa. The little guy is soooo smart- what a chatter box! He's a very good speaker and his vocabulary is out of this world! Just moments after meeting me (well, I met him last summer, but he was 4 and I thought he didn't remember me, but he did), he said, "Christine, I'm going to start calling you Chris from now on, okay?" Shocked at his grasp of language and his ease in communicating, I said, "Uhhh...yeah, sure." His mom said, "Cormick, her name is Christine. You will call her Christine and nothing else." "But I want to call her Chris! Is that okay? She said it's okay!" Honestly, I thought it was cute. Then he went out and started flinging stones across the parking lot, each time narrowly missing a parked vehicle.

K: Cormick, that is not a wise decision.
C: Why isn't it a wise decision?
K: You may hit a car.
C: (laughing) I may hit a car? (goes on to flinging more stones)
K: Daddy...
C: Ohhh no!! I don't like my Daddy! He is mean to me! He is not going to let me throw rocks!!

While this is going on, I have little Larissa on my lap. She too is a chatter box and for a 2 year old, she has such a command of language! Pointing to my feet, she says:

L: flip flops
Me: Yes, Larissa! Flip flops!
L: Blue flip flops!
Me: Very good!
L: lellow stipes (I'm assuming she meant 'yellow stripes'!)
Me: Very good! Blue flip flops with yellow stripes! (My gosh! The kid's a genius!)

I then show her some photos of my friend Dina's baby on the internet and I say:
Me: Larissa, what's this?
L: baby
Me: Wow! (I then show her pics of my other friends' babies)
L: (very casually and nonchallantly, while looking at baby bath pics, Larissa says) Penis!
Me: What?? (in disbelief!)
K: (laughing) Yes, Larissa, that's a penis! Christine, she knows all the parts of the anatomy already.
Me: Oh my gosh!! Two years old!

Anyway, lesson learnt: if you don't baby talk your child, your child will hopefully be able to speak clearly and with ease. The reason I say this is because a friend of mine also has a 2 year old and he cannot string together a sentence! I love my friend, but she coddles andbabytalks and her son simply cannot speak. He can perhaps say a couple of words but mostly uses crying and sounds to articulate his wants.

Wow, I was just blown away by those two little cuties! Can't wait til their next visit or til we go visit them in Sept!


Jill said...

Honestly, the few babies you have discussed here are not enough to consider a lesson learned about speech development. I know so many kids, through my work and my personal life. When they meet milestones like talking is only partially related to how they are spoken to, and sometimes it just doesn't make a difference. My 2 nieces (5 and 7) who are sisters were spoken to the same. The older one was speaking in full sentances by the time she was 2, the younger barely said an understandable word until she was over 3, and now at 5 speaks great. My Zoë is a good speaker and was speaking in 2-3 word sentances by the time she was 2 1/2, and now has impressive conversations at 3 1/2.

It is important to remeber that, even for babies who are "baby-talked" to, the majority of leanguage that babies hear is still adult language. They listen to their parents talking to each other, they listen to the TV and movies, they listen to the talking around them in public places, the radio in the car and their parents phone calls.

I don't meant to be rude, but late speaking is a big fear of parents, and I would hate for someone whose baby is not speaking well to read this and think must be their fault, and I would hate for someone who cannot resist the urge to baby-talk to think they are dooming their child to a life of speech delay.

Sure what parents do can help or hinder their child's language development, but a more important lesson learned (to parents that do talk and read to their kids even if it is baby language...of course parents that don't need to start, NOW!) is that almost all kids will speak eventually, and unless there are specific signs of a speech or hearing delay (such as a 2 year old not responding to their name, not knowing ANY words and not being able to get their needs met) give them time and don't stress.

Chrissy121875 said...

Hey Jill! Yes, I realized after I'd written that entry that it was a generalization I shouldn't have made. I also realize that all children are different and will learn to speak at their own pace. Some kids just naturally have the gift of gab while others are take a little more time.

I saw this yesterday when we saw our friends' two daughters (aged 2 and 5). Both kids were extremely quiet and never spoke a word. Everyone was surprised at how shy/quiet both girls were (esp. since none of us were 'new faces' or strangers to the girls). Then there were our other friends' kids (ages 2, 4 and 7)...and these kids were sooooo talkative.

You're right though, and I agree. Guess it was one of those "think first then type" things that I needed to do ;p

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I have three kids and they're all so different. We didn't baby talk our kids though. Our friend used to tell her baby "baba" when it was time for her bottle. We didn't use "baba" we used "bottle". Sure, it's harder to pronounce and of course our kids didn't pronounce words perfectly but we always said the word instead of made up a word for things. It is hard though and I can see how some parents would baby talk. It isn't a bad thing. It's almost like it's so hard to resist saying "Oh Tommy wommy is a cutie wootie pie!" Kids are so cute, how can you resist not cooing?

Both my husband and I are in the Early Childhood Education field - we operate our own daycare. We both think for our children that baby talk was not the way to go. However, Jill you have raised pretty good points and Chrissy I dont think you intended anything malicious by your entry. No worries girl!

Jill said...

that's okay Chris...I didn't write my novel of a comment to refute you, but rather to educate is important to understand how many different influences there are on kids meeting milestones. Otherwise, parents tend to blame themselves if their kids are a little behind or just "not advanced
, and have unrealistic expections of their kids if they do everything the "right way" and their kids still aren't advanced, especially if it is the second child and the first one was a little quick.

Though there is definately a wrong way to parent (abusive/neglectful I mean) there are many, many right ways to parent...and I have seen many kids thrive, at many different rates, in spite of very different parenting practices, and often with the very same parenting practices (like my 2 neices who have the same parents and are both "fine" as in not delayed, however met all their milestones at very different times!!!).

Zoë is quite a talker, but so shy around stranges and people she knows only a little that most people don't beleiieve it. Even though she has been in daycare for 2 years and should be well "socialized" by that!!!

Jill said...

For the record we were not big baby-talkers ourselves, and preferred to model proper language for Zoë than to use baby talk (once she was past a few months that is...few can resist baby-talking to a newborn!!!)...

I know Chrissy was not being malicious...I know that she could never be malicious...

Anonymous said...

Christine! I don't have a blogger account so I'll just sign as Anonymous. You know Adrian is now three years old and he talks like crazy now. We didn't baby talk him because we just chose not to. We also wanted to model the proper words for things. Anyway, he didn't start speaking tons until he was almost three. He was a bit slow compared to other friends' kids but he talks so much now thatwe sometimes want him to be quiet! LOL especially when he says stuff we don't want him to say in front of other people! Haha! We were at the supermarket and right in the middle of the store he says very loudly that "Mommy, why that lady is fat?" OMG I wanted to crawl under a huge rock! So embarrassing! BTW he calls you 'Kriteen' now! Cute huh?

Dina said...

hey and you have to remember that Einstein didn't talk till he was 5 years old. When he was asked why he didn't speak he replied, "Because I had nothing to say"

Jill said...

LOL Dina. So true!!! Since to see you visiting blogs again...

Chrissy121875 said...

LOL! Love that last comment you left, Dina! So true! :) So, how's the little guy? How are YOU? Love ya lots and I enjoy seeing new photos of Elie!!! You look wonderful too!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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