Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Toddler speak

There is something that is just endlessly amusing about how little kids, especially toddlers, mispronounce words. Sometimes we embrace those mispronunciations and used them in our everyday speech. My extended family still says, "Nuther one...." because my now 12 year old niece used to say nuther one.

Raph has always been quite advanced in his speech and vocabulary but that does not mean he's exempt from mix ups. He can clearly name dinosaurs that have at least 20 letters to their name but he can't say camel. That would be a caminal. Go figure.

Colin started speaking early the way that Raph started out. Then right after his 1st birthday he had tubes put in and all speaking stopped. Yes, every single word he knew and used was gone. Not that he was mute but he just stopped talking, entirely. For about three months he used no actual spoken words. Thankfully he had an expansive baby signs vocabulary and could communicate but it was more than a little alarming that he stopped speaking. Right before his next check up he had a mini language explosion and started talking. Not exactly clear speech but at least words were coming out of his mouth. He added an extra 'schlush' to most words and my pediatrician said it was too early for speech therapy but to keep an eye on it and we'd reevaluate at his next appointment.

Naturally just before his next check up he had another mini explosion and he had dropped much of the schlush-ing. It was still there but not as prominent. He still had a limited vocabulary but he was improving. At 18 months he had probably less than 20 words (not including signs) and many of them were not clear to the average person. At that same age Raph was speaking in complete sentences, would have back and forth conversations with you and I stopped counting his words when I reached 100. Night and day.

At Colin's 2 yr old appointment I brought up his speech again because he used the sound an object makes for the word instead of actually saying the word. Even now a bird is a tweet and a dinosaur is a rar-rar and so on. He has sentences now and makes himself understood most of the time but its not always clear. It enrages him when he will say something that you don't understand but we are both trying to understand each other. Because his speech issues are never static his new *issue* is that he drops the first sound of most words. They are just optional in his mind. This new speech pattern is so charming and funny. I love this phase and can't get enough of it. Is that bad? It really doesn't bother me because I know he will talk with relative clarity one day but oh the mixed up words are so funny.