Monday, January 17, 2011

Early Claraese

At long last, Claraese is starting to emerge. I'm guessing that over the next two months so many words will emerge that I'll quickly forget this stage entirely, so before that happens I'd like to record what we have so far.

1st clear meaningful words: Three words all have been intermingled for some time -- "mom", "milk" and "more." Needless to say these are usually uttered at moments of desperation. Over time, these are starting to distinguish themselves, with "mom" often articulated as "mə mə" or "mə maaaa", milk articulated with a mid vowel ("mɪ" or "mɛ") or "more" articulated more like a single long "mə"

1st clear, common animal sound: "roar", first made in response to dinosaurs, then to other roaring animals as well. Hard to describe this sound, except to say it's kind of throaty and that there's nothing cuter than a tiny person trying to roar.

2nd clear animal sound: "moo." This one is more interesting because you can hear her articulating the "moo" as she goes -- she starts the sound at "ma" and then moves to "oo", resulting on something that sounds like "mao" or, occasionally, makes it all the way to "maouuu"

Several new words are emerging this week with more frequency, including:
- dad (də də)
- up (pəpəpə) - this sounds more like a play sound than a word, with the vowel almost unperceived and the main focus on repeating a "p" sound
- yes (ya ya) - this was produced after extensive coaching by big sister Grace.
- bye (bə bə) - this was learned as part of a fabulous game involving repeatedly hiding behind the shower curtain. She mostly still prefers to wave for this though.

Clara still prefers to communicate mostly with simple signs -- yes and no nods and pointing. It can take a fair amount of work to elicit a word from her, since asking her questions about me, say, will get her to point to me or to pictures of me or to the door (if I'm at work) but rarely to simply say my name.

As far as recognition, her vocabulary is big enough that it's impossible to enumerate what she knows and hard to estimate how many words. An example of words she certainly knows: names of all family members & friends, names of common foods, diapering and bathroom related words, guitar, music, book, radio, baby, doll, couch, table, and on...

I still find the notion of a "first word" baffling: I have no idea what her first word was.

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