Words in Winter

Over the last month or so, Julia has clearly entered the babbling stage. This, frankly, is awesome, because she’s the most adorable creature in the world even without an incomprehensible monologue of cute baby sounds. It also reminds me a little of this. Her language is a lot more fun to listen to though.

In addition to the babbling, she’s developing a real vocabulary of words that we can use to communicate. We’ve compiled a roughly chronological list (in terms of when she started using each word), which Courtney posted to Facebook a little while ago. I’ve copied this into a table here for convenience, and added a few new ones since her post.

Word Julia’s Version
baby (correct)
daddy (correct)
hi (correct)
bye (correct)
boot boo
balloon boon
moon (correct)
mama (correct)
nana (correct)
mail may-oh
bowl boh
dish diss
dish disses
no (correct)
walk (correct)
home hmm
Mia (correct)
buckle buh-kuh
bug (correct)
ball bah
PCB peh suh buh
Cheerio dzee-oh
water wawa
dark dock
duck (correct)
bottle bah-ohh, baba
movie moo-wa
remote wee-mo
eye eye
ear eww
necklace neh-nee
uh oh (correct)
boo (correct)
E-I-E-I-O yie-yie-yoh!
snow noh

She’s also developed her own substitutions for certain things, where she doesn’t say the correct word but she certainly has the right idea. These substitutions are usually based on either a sound the thing makes, or else the sound we or she makes while using the thing. This leads to some funny associations, as well as quite a bit of overlap.

Thing Julia’s Version
swing weee!
spinning chair
snow sled
Vitamix grrrr!
pick-and-place machine
kitchen mixer
mouse ee ee!
snake ssss!
sheep maaa!
owl hoo hoo!
monkey ooh ooh aah aah!
cow mooo!
lion RAAAR!
anything dirty eww!

Not bad for a 13-month-old.

Besides the language development, she’s making some interesting but logical associations. Since Courtney has her call up to the upstairs room (office) window after going for a walk in order to get my attention in the middle of a work day, she now associates “window” with “daddy.” Pictures of houses with upstairs windows in her board books now elicit cries of “Daddy!” while she points to them. This was confusing to us at first, but it makes perfect sense.

One of Julia’s most recent accomplishments—just this morning, in fact—is the ability to use a straw to drink out of a cup. We hadn’t really presented her with any real opportunities to learn this before (no particular reason), but she picked it up after only a few awkward seconds of chewing on the straw, then leaving it in her mouth and waiting for something to happen. She’s almost a pro now, though she begins each “suck” with a giant wide-open mouth before chomping down on the end. I guess she wants to make really sure that straw is really in there.

She is developing an appreciation of living vicariously, choosing to push her dolls in her own swing rather than sitting in it herself, and immensely enjoying watching our neighbors sled down the hill in our connected front yard. She still stares at the lingering patches of snow in that part of the yard and yells “weee!” like she did when we were watching the the first time.

We’re also noticing some habits of cleanliness appearing in her everyday activities (yay!). At the end of her bath times, she helps put her bath toys back into the toy bucket while singing along as only a pre-vocabulated one-year-old can to the abbreviated clean-up song. She stops to inspect every little black speck on the floor, often saying “eww!” repeatedly after apparently identifying dirt. (This can be a time-consuming activity when a large portion of the floor is Scotch pine knot wood paneling.)

She’s continuing to grow in all the expected ways, aside from being a relatively low height percentile for her age. She hasn’t managed real balanced walking yet, but she goes all over the place with the walker she got for Christmas, and she can take six or seven steps on her own when we coach her. She just gets too excited about the whole thing and usually tips over forward in squeals of glee. Sgweels, if you will. She’s nearly to the “toddler” stage, but not quite yet.

We have more adventures ahead, so stay tuned!