Words and phrases Ian uses with varying degreees of success, and that I can remember: bus, truck, please, thank you, wow, SpongeBob (this ain’t Scrabble), movie, moon, balloon, up, help, down, mommy, daddy, no, snow, hi, bye, bye-bye, ball, green, ‘Moo!’, ‘Choo-choo!’, apple, ‘What’s that?’, ‘I did it!’, uh-oh, banana, shoe(s), juice, tea, ‘I don’t know.’, go, seat, do, cat, sun, boat, coat, penis, one and ‘Ha-cha-cha-cha!’ (I like Jimmy Durante.)

Letters Ian can recognize and say: B, D, O, Y, X, S, Z, and L.

I’m fascinated by Ian’s language development, but more so by his word selection.

To my knowledge, he’s yet to say ‘toy’ even once, but ‘moon’ is one of his favorites. Why? How many dozens of times per day does he hear the word ‘toy’, and yet his only regular exposure to ‘moon’ is when we read Where the Wild Things Are (during the Royal Rumpus). And one night, before we realized he knew the word, he lifts his head, points to the sky, takes a deep breath and shouts, ‘Moon!’ Well, it sounds more like ‘noon’ or ‘dune’. But still.

And while we’re at it, why was ‘bus’ one of Ian’s earliest words? I think he and I have a fairly close relationship – close enough where he feels comfortable picking my nose. He’s seen me every day of his life; I shook his hand when he was born, yet he hardly ever calls me ‘Daddy’. But there was a time when Ian could spot a bus within a 3-mile radius. ‘Bus! Bus! Bus! Bus!’ Once Ian found himself next to a Hummer H2, and we learned that he could even spy a bus in disguise.

Maybe toys and daddies are too common. Funny though I may be, how can I possibly compete with a bright, shining orb in the sky, or a roaring bus, barrelling down the street, spouting clouds of smoke with a booming voice, ’33 – LACKLAND ROAD TO WESTPORT!’? And even I find SpongeBob Squarepants more entertaining than myself.

I’ve always been amazed by the moon, but even a cup of tea can send this kid into a dancing frenzy of joy. Occasionally he’ll sing in anticipation of his tea: ‘Teaaa. Teeeeaaaaa. Tea!’ As I watch Ian vocalize his world, I’ve started realizing just how many things I take for granted.

Leave a Reply