Language Acquisition

We had a lovely time in Brookings visiting our son and his family. Our grandson is 17 months old. His language development really took off within the last week or so. Our daughter in law said that one day he wasn’t really talking, and the next day he was jabbering away. I notice that sometimes boys’ development is choppy, while girls have a smoother and more gradual developmental trajectory.

Our grandson signs, too, and he signed and made animal noises and tried out many new words as he went through the weekend.   I was tickled  as I wheeled him in a cart through the grocery store and he started making snorting noises as he  pointed toward the ceiling.  He had spied a pig balloon, and he  let me know that was what pigs said.  He also has a fine command of the word “No!”  and told us so quite a bit.

What were you told about your early development? What were your first words? What were your favorite first books?



26 thoughts on “Language Acquisition”

  1. Donnie describes me as shy as a young child. In fact, to hear her tell it, almost debilitatingly shy. I don’t remember this. What I do remember is at the age of 5 being willing to sing “Susie Little Susie” on stage in the auditorium in for t of an audience for some kind of kindergarten talent show. Doesn’t seem with the act of a shy child to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What would we do without the internet? I remember my mother mentioning that one of my favorite books when I was a toddler featured dogs named Toothy Perkins and No-Tail Ryan. I had no idea what the title was, so I googled “No-Tail Ryan” and up popped The Puppy Who Chased the Sun. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find an image of the cover to see if it sparked any recognition.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks Linda,
        Now that you located a sample, suddenly I’m finding multiple images of the book. I don’t know what my problem was this morning.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. My first word was Lassie. I had a stuffed toy dog that looked like the TV star. I was just thinking about The Color Kittens the other day-Brush and Hush and their paint mixing adventure . Our grandson has all the books his father and aunt had, lots of Eric Carle and Tomie D’Paulo.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve been lucky enough to find some notes my mom wrote down before I was “dethroned” (age 4) when my sister was born. First words were apparently the usually Mama, Dada… (hmmm, I should check that), but she once found me on the floor saying “Hi” to a box elder bug..

    I remember little golden books, esp. The Night Before Christmas, which I’d memorized. and Santa’s Toy Shop. And a nursery rhyme book. Curious George from the library, and Katy and the Big Snow.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Our grandson was exhausted this week, what with his developmental advances, new communication skills, and everyone talking to him, and asking him incessant questions about the animals and what they all say. The adult behavior, including my own, was also interesting to observe. We are so programmed to communicate.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Isn’t it fun, Renee, to watch a little person emerge with language? Their thought processes are revealed and you get to know how he perceives the world and what is on his mind. I just love that. Then little chats emerge that tell even more.

    I remember being pretty curious and loving to watch. When I was tiny (my mom said about 18 months), my parents dropped me off with my Grandmother who was watching me while they went somewhere. She was, at that time, dying of colon cancer and was wheelchair bound, so she used an earlier version of a “reacher”—the tool that allows someone who is impaired to reach and clamp something that would be out of reach otherwise. I still remember feeling fascinated with that thing, thinking, “I want that!” Then she held my hand and said, “careful. It will pinch.” She died when I was 3 so that is my only memory of her. I am sure it was the reacher and the intense sensation of curiosity that sustained the memory over time.

    My curiosity got me in trouble. I inserted my metal scissors into the electrical outlet, then discovered a bright flash.

    I loved the show, “Lassie,” which I watched from the safety of Dad’s lap. Each episode I would fall apart into sobbing as Lassie faced danger and I was sure she would die (in the well, from the bad guys, fighting the wolf, in the mine, rescuing Timmie). Dad would talk me through it and tell me that Lassie could not die because if she did, there would be no show next week, which I finally understood. That made it easier to tolerate the tension of the danger.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your Lassie revelation reminds me of letting my little daughter watch a film called Orca, one of many Jaws imitators. Molly was 3 or 4 at the time. After the mate of a killer whale is killed, the surviving orca gets revenge by chomping women sporting in the shallows. Each time the orca moved in for another kill, the symphony would play spooky music louder and louder.

      “Those STUPID people,” yelled my daughter. “When they hear that music they should know it’s time to run!”

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t know what my first words were or remember my favorite books, but I do love the photo of the camels……rode one over the dunes of the Sahara Desert near sunset on my recent vacation to Morocco. We watched the sun go down from atop a dune and then rode back to camp with a full moon shining on us….fabulous!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. My mother insists I was the world’s easiest baby to raise. I never fussed or complained or caused any trouble or got into mischief (I must have misbehaved on occasion but she’s probably suppressed those memories. It might be because my older sister and younger brother were “normal” babies who had the usual tantrums and such. So I was a gem by default.

    Her other big memory of me is that I was constantly asking what the words on the billboards and road signs said as we drove in the car. She claims that’s how I taught myself to read before I even got to kindergarten.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

    1. my childhood recollections are of brained where we lived on the mississippi and had a basset for a next door neighbor and my babysitter darlene had 7or 8 petticoats under her poodle skirt

      my mom said she didn’t realize until my younger brother and sisters were born that not all children woke up in high gear and sped up from there
      she said she wasn’t sure which was supposed to be first .. walking or talking but i did them both early and with with gusto at 11 months. when i learned to walk i thought it was a license to run. faceplants by an 11 month old leave scabs on the lower lip and i took to sucking my lip instead of a pacifier because evidently not running never seemed an option worth considering. books i don’t remember but bouncing on the couch and riding my mechanical horse to the music of my fair lady and stories like rusty in orchestra land was how i learned to let my mind wander
      i remember going to my fargo cousins house and seeing all the dr suess books and other “kids books” that i had no access to at home. my mom didn’t need to find an entertainment or way to occupy my time, i went crazy with enthusiasm over whatever the moment presented. my tractor got me around the neighborhood what today is called adhd was then simply high energy
      my dad always said he hoped i’d get one like me to teach me how it felt and my oldest was made to order.
      today my first grandson is at the same point as renee’s grandson. he also is 17 months old and is just back from kosovo where he stayed with the grandma and aunts and in the same block as all the cousins on the farm, ducks chickens pigs and cows are the sounds he does
      horses he does not, they didn’t have a horse. i get him every wednesday and love it. he is a pistol.
      son of a gun sort of?

      Liked by 3 people

  9. I don’t know that I’ve ever asked what my words were or what I was like as a baby.
    I remember loving the ‘I Can Read’ books and I had all of them.
    I have “The Fire Cat” here in my office. Pickles and Mrs. Goodkind.
    Mom also bought LP’s of Disney shows and I listened to a lot of them. maybe that’s where my love of theater comes from. I can sing “supercalifracialistic expialidosious’ with the best of them.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. The books I remember from early on are One Fish, Two Fish and The Poky Little Puppy. I don’t remember learning how to read. I gather my sister, who was three years older, would come home from school and teach me whatever she had learned in school that day. So I was about three years ahead of my age group.

    I have no idea what my first words were. Nothing very original, I’m sure.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I have no idea what my first word was, and I’m pretty sure that neither my mom or dad were paying close attention to that. Of course, I was born smack dab in the middle of WWII in Newcastle upon Tyne in England, so not really a good time to pay attention to such niceties.

    Looking back, I realize how different things are now. Back then, my parents were not unique in believing that children should be seen, not heard. Mom had all kinds of crazy ideas, ideas that she shared with a lot of uneducated women of the day. She was convinced that picking up, or holding, a crying child would spoil it. She thought that leaving a baby in a soiled diaper for hours on end would toughen the baby’s skin. Both of my parents believed in corporal punishment for infractions that most parents today would never even consider punishing their child for.

    Late in life dad asked me to forgive him for beating me because I had peed on their new mattress while he and mom went to the movies. He had given me strict orders to not get out of bed while they were gone, a quandary my four year old brain could not resolve satisfactorily when I had to pee. It was a beating that I had no memory of, but one that had bothered him most of his adult life.

    I’m delighted to hear of your much more enlightened interaction with your grandson, Renee. I know that a “No” from me when I was very little would not have had a happy ending.

    Sorry, I didn’t intend for this to be a downer, but I’m realizing how much different things are now – at least for some people.

    Liked by 5 people

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