Wednesday, 6 March 2013

All gone raisins

Something's happened to Amotai since Christmas. You're always aware that a baby/toddler is sucking up information like a vacuum cleaner and the speed at which they grown and change is (despite how many times you hear or say it) amazing. But in the last couple of months Amotai's brain seems to have been supercharged. It's as if you can see his synapses firing and neurons making new connections while you watch him.

I think the reason why he seems to have gone into cognitive hyperdrive is because he's talking so much more.   His first word was "dap" (clap), back in September last year. "Dat" (as in 'what's that') came soon after. After that he started saying other words, such as "did" (dad), but interestingly not 'mum', "bid" (bird), "tee" (tree) and "tar" (car). Tar, tar, tar, tar. Our boy sure does love his vehicles. I often stand holding him beside our driveway and we watch the traffic rush by. I'm always the one to crack first and go back inside. A few nights ago he said "yay car" in his sleep.

Amotai's favourite tar - Grandad Ray's Mondomobile
Born to be wild
Then suddenly, around Christmas, he started coming out with a flood of words. By the time we went to the Keenan family gathering in Taranaki in mid-January, we worked out that he say about twenty. Since then we've lost count.
I have spoken!
Flowa. Showa. Di-ga. Ti-ga. Owl. Cow. Truck. Van. Plane. Up. Down. Hot. Andandan (ambulance). Ra-ra is his best utility word, covering 'button', 'motorcycle/scooter' and his best friend at creche, Cassandra (who's recently been upgraded to 'Ca-ra-ra'). His latest two are "stuck", "present" and "ammamat" (elephant, always followed by an attempted trumpet).

The bigger vocabulary is an obvious sign of his increasing smarts, but the words also show how he's putting concepts together. It's a wonderful moment for a parent when you realise he's just made one of those jumps in reasoning.

Like what he called the first tortoise he's ever seen.

Or when he looked at the new clock on the wall, then looked at my watch and said "tick tock". Or seeing Lauren's pyjamas and saying "num". He took a long time to come up with a word for Lauren, but he sure has made up for lost time. He really likes sitting on the couch and identifying us, both in person and in the photos of our travelling days that hang on the wall. Likewise, he loves to catalogue the features of our heads - "eye, ear, hair, teeth".

No German yet (thanks Mary and Janka) but 'kai' is one of his favourite words. At our wonderful creche his appetite is a running joke.
Recently he's come up with his first couple of mini-sentences: "no our car", when he didn't want to go for a drive, and "all gone raisins" when the box was empty.

You can see why some people turn into those awful parents who brag about their children's genius. You feel so excited when they advance another step. I highly doubt that Amotai's a genius - this is the boy who calls all birds 'duck' - but he sure does make us proud.

 Checking out the takahe duck! at Zealandia

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