15 August 2013

Darmok


Of all the aspects of fatherhood, nothing has confounded and amazed me as much as the full vocalization of the inner-workings of my child's mind. She is a sounding board of free association, an unbridled spout of flowing thought put to "language". The randomness, the cuteness, the overall insanity of it is too funny and wonderful to do justice in a mere blog post.

But I aim to try.

Let us say it's dinner time. She is in her high chair, attempting to eat and speak at the same time, as one does. Something like this will happen:

"Nini...Kiki...Yeye...Papa...Knock...Hot...Cacka."

In those ellipses is where I translate, both so she hears examples of complete sentences and so that I can confirm what she's attempting to say. Granted, she would probably acknowledge it as correct if I asked her if she was reciting the Gettysburg Address. Just play along. "Nini" is her name for herself, so we'll skip that one.

"You saw a kitty? ...Lele's [her name for my step-mom] kitty? ...Yes, Pops [her name for my dad] was there...Yeah, you knocked over the sandcastles at the beach with Pops, didn't you? ...It was hot at the beach, wasn't it? ...And you had crackers."

She is then reminded of how good crackers are and demands some to complete her dining experience. Imagine, also, that after each question I pose is an excited "Yeah! Yeah!".

She's also fond of throwing things on the ground, especially food. Recently she took it upon herself to pry it from her booster seat and dump an entire tray of food, I believe it was mostly torn up corn tortillas, upon the floor. She called the dog over. The dog was put away and she was made to help her mom pic up the mess.

"Mess."
"Yeah, you made a mess."
"Mess. Mama. Owbuh. Hoo hoo!"
"Yes, mommy made a mess but it wasn't Owly's [her toy owl] fault."

This is a long story that I will spare you. The point is that she connected this instance to something that happened weeks ago and then to her toy owl.

There are more impressive examples that escape me right now. I suppose if I read more about toddlers and their development this would be less amazing, as it's likely done by most children across the globe. But why spoil the fun? My kid can be brilliant and I can be baffled by the miracle of human growth. Communication is some kind of amazing thing and to watch a little person figure it out is a joy and a pleasure.

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