Alfie Update – First Words

So our son is talking. And talking and talking and talking. At least, in a language he and we understand, if no-one else. He has been burbling away a good long while, and the other day marched up to a lady in front of a notice board and said something very decisive along the lines of ‘yakkadakkadakadak’. She laughed out loud and said to me ‘he sounded exactly like he was telling me which tree we ought to look for’ (we were at Westonbirt Arboretum). Anyway, in no particular order, his current (and first?) words are: • Bye Bye (with waving, often as soon as anyone leaves the room or when he decides to walk out of a shop) • Nanight (ditto) • Banzai! (Hands in air) • Yeah! (Usually clapping then hands in air, like mummy does) • Moo, Baa, Cockadoodledoo, Bok Bok (chicken), Neigh, Miaouw, Woof Woof (sounds like ooh ooh), Ee-Aww (donkey), Fsshh (fish), Eeeeee (Elephant), Rah (Lion/Tiger), Sssss (snake), Pig noise (like snoring) • Up! (usually to Incey Wincey – up came the sun etc) • Cheers! (a sort of Thhh sound which makes sense) • MorMor (mohmoh) • Nannie (Nannnn) • Nana (Banana, often with monkey picture in book) • Nononononono (accompanied by shaking of the head, often while looking forlornly at the TV remote) • Noi Noi (oranges, or more correctly, clementines) • Brrrrmm (cars) • Nee naw (fire engines and such, obv) • Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee increasing in volume (Hand me that now you moronic parent!) What astonishes me with the animal sounds is that you now only have to say the proper word, i.e. cow, dog, cat, pig etc and he will tell you the sounds they make. But more extraordinary than that, he is able to recognise the most obscure and surreal rendering of each animal, so it doesn’t matter if it’s a photo, cartoon, toy, ornament or the real thing, he still knows what it is. And some of them cartoons and toys can be very weird, not to mention the fact that dogs in particular come in all shapes and sizes. That, I think, is very clever; the joining up of the word, the sound and the picture/representation. Some things, like deer, can variously be neighs or moos which I think is fair enough. Today for the first time we have also heard a definite ‘no’ though it sounded more like a ‘ne’ but was in answer to whether he wanted some food or other so made sense to us. He has also said Daisy (Aunty Susan’s dog), Katie (cousin) and Granddad. At least, we recognise the vowel sounds but it’s debatable whether anyone else would. He has also definitely said Daddy a few times but rarely repeats it so you feel like you may have heard it wrong. But then again… And then there are the words you understand but can’t yet verbalise. These are too numerous to mention but some current favourites are clock (incl watches), book, nose, teeth, ears, mouth, toes – this includes on animals as well as family, real and in pictures, dummy, shoes, hat, chair, phone, TV, bird, ring, ball, bath, sleep and more! In other words, we have a real little chatterbox on our hands and wonderful and magical it is too, especially as you can see his world expand exponentially as his comprehension and verbalisation increase, almost day by day. Lovely!

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