Friday, February 18, 2011
All Three of Them…
T’s verbal skills are taking their time to manifest themselves. I know the age range of “normal” development is a wide one, and I know that he demonstrates his cleverness in a variety of other ways, and I know that each child develops in his or her own unique way. However, I am a read-aholic, book-collecting, literature-degree-holding, language-arts-teaching mother of an outrageously verbal first child. Can you understand my preoccupation with words? Usually after much cajoling but occasionally in a direct address, T will refer to my husband as “Da-da.” (Why do dads always get to be first?) T’s second word is really just a vowel sound with meaning, but leave him in his shoes or jacket much more than 30 seconds through the door and you’ll hear “aahh!, aahh?” (His version of off.) And finally the most recent development was last weekend, when he began parroting the phrase “Hop, hop, hop!” while reading a book at Grandma’s. While it warms my heart that any book would be the impetus to express some more language, I can’t help wishing we had a little bit more 2-way communication going on.
Inviting a Response
Perhaps T’s lack of appreciation for most books, coupled with my eagerness for some verbal interaction, makes me enjoy barking my way through Doggies, by Sandra Boynton, over and over again. It’s a counting book, but it’s so much more. The bulk of the text is variations on a bark: woof, arf, ruff, grr, yip, etc. What a unique way to conceptualize numbers! Children are exposed to both a visual and auditory representation of each number. The five dogs shown on the page correspond to my “bow wow wow wow wow!” A Boynton book is not complete without humor, and I’m sure you can guess how a cat fits in a book of 10 dogs. Doggies has been in our library since B’s babyhood, and Mommy’s silly barking was a big hit with him back then as well. Like T, he enjoyed participating in the story by mimicking some of the sounds I made. Back then, I was already aware of the literacy foundation being laid by his involvement in reading and his association of pleasure with books. What I have only come to realize with T’s experience is that this unassuming counting book can also play a role in social development skills of conversation and turn-taking. I’ll never get tired of barking, as long as one of my little guys is barking back.
Appropriate for babies, toddlers, anyone who loves to bark!
Do your children have a book that seems simple on the surface but has come to mean something more? Hope you’ll share about it by linking up and/or leaving a comment!