Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nuh and New

So Rolo is becoming quite the little talker and like most kids his age, "no" is his favorite word. And like his father, he's developing some bizarro accent for no apparent reason. When he's being dismissive, Rolo pronounces "no" as "nuh" and sounds much like a Russian fisherman. When he's being whiny, "no" becomes "neeeeewwww" and he sounds like I've just asked him to give up one of his kidneys.

Last night, after he dumped his dinner on the floor (ahem), I shook my finger at him and said sternly "That's not nice! You don't throw food on the floor. We don't waste food!" Rolo proceeded to think for a minute (at this age, you can practically see the wheels in their head turning) and instead of doing his incredibly fake crying that he does when I correct him, he lifted one finger at me, looked me in the eye and said "Dat. Nah. Nice." Which, translated, just in case you can't follow along, was him repeating "That's not nice" back to me. I had to turn my back to him so he couldn't see me laugh.

That story sort of sums up where we are with Rolo these days. He's started forming small sentences and given that he wasn't really saying more than a handful of words two months ago, I'd call it significant progress. One of his favorite sentences is "he's crying" complete with him pretending to wipe his eye. Interestingly, he never uses this sentence referring to himself, but he comments on other people he sees crying in real life or on TV. Just in the last week, Rolo's taken to making up stories. The other night in the tub, his fireboat bath toy capsized and Rolo proceeded to tell me that the ejected firefighter was crying as a result. Yesterday, a passing helicopter was crying as it flew away. I could go on.

Speaking of helicopters, Rolo is completely OBSESSED with them. He can say "hellacopper", and is constantly searching the sky for them (thank God our apartment has sliding glass doors with a skyline view). However, he does not understand that it is not within my power to make hellacoppers spontaneously appear and this has lead to more than one meltdown. So I personally have a love/hate relationship with hellacoppers.

As part of this story-telling phase, Rolo will also speak to you earnestly at length, mostly in complete gibberish, but with a word or two in passable English thrown in for good measure. There are usually hand gestures involved. And if you act interested, and say "Really? Is that so?" Rolo will nod excited and say "Uh oh, he's crying."

I'm not sure if there's a direct correlation, or if it was just a timing thing, but Rolo's language exploded just after he started his new school. There are pros and cons to this new school, but overall, I'm pleased and have no desire to bring him back to his old one. Regardless whether his language skills are directly attributable to the new school, I have noticed a general change in my son. He likes being there. He gets to do a ton of activities. He's understanding more complex concepts now. Best of all, I don't feel bad about leaving him at school. In fact, I'd venture to say that he has a good deal more fun at school than at home.

I can't say there are significant challenges as he furthers into toddlerdom. Now that he's talking and knows he can communicate, he gets even more frustrated when he can't get across what he wants. Just this morning, I was ready to sell him to a band of gypsies because EVERYTHING in Rolo's world today was just not up to his standards. Apparently. But for all the tandrums and times I'm pulling my hair out, it's still pretty fun to see how much he enjoys learning new things. We've been working on colors and he's got about a 25% percent success rate, since he always guesses either "buhue" or "ornange" first when asked what color something is. And man, when that something is actually "ornange" and I tell him he's right, you could solve the world's energy crisis with the light beaming from his face.

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