Friday, April 17, 2009

Talk about talk

Believe it or not, at one time in my life, I considered studying for an advanced degree in linguistics. Language, semantics, alphabets and how people communicate have always fascinated me.

I'm also fascinated by chocolate. But . . . you know.

At the time, though, it seemed options for linguistics people were teaching (on a community college or university level) or research (images of teaching sign language to gorillas came to mind). Neither path was my cuppa joe.

But later, I realized linguistics researchers also study how children learn language. And that did grab my attention.

Even before I considered becoming a mom, I enjoyed talking with toddlers and preschoolers. The way they speak is so free -- they don't know all the language rules, they haven't learned the words for everything and they aren't constrained by colloquialisms. They usually don't even know what's appropriate to say. Their whole thought process for getting across what they want to express is unhindered by the language conventions we learn as we get older. That kind of freedom of mind and tongue is amazing to think about. Here are people who communicate from their own unique, brand-new, fresh perspective on the world.

Today is the first day I realized Fly is really and truly talking. Not just a few phrases he has learned. Not just yes-or-no answers to my questions. Not just to say the alphabet, count, or point out shapes or colors. Fly formulates his own ideas, asks questions, tells me what he wants (or more likely, what he doesn't want) and narrates what he is doing.

Fly is talking!

Not only is my munchkin now a walking, talking child I can have an actual conversation with, but I get to experience that freedom of mind and tongue I so admire.

I feel so lucky.

And yet . . . .

My adult mind is already wondering how I'm going to put up with constant little-people chatter!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This picture absolutely cracked me up! Awesome!

Also, I'm intrigued by languages as well. I was looking at linguistic anthropology (and I wanted to teach at high school or university level ;) ) for awhile, until I kind of fucked my life for a few years.

I've always been kind of freaked out by children, but now that I have one, I'm actually really amazed by them. They are absolutely blank slates, and the entire process of how they learn... it's awesome. I've actually considered pursuing early childhood education as a career now.

6:21 PM  
Blogger CaraBee said...

I love the word vomit that comes out of kids. They say everything that is in their minds. No concern for what anyone thinks or how their supposed to say things. I'm really excited to get to that stage with Sophie. I can't wait to hear her voice, how she says words. That is the good stuff.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Bloggy Mama said...

Awwww. he's SO cute. Bring on "why?"

7:59 PM  
Blogger Keetha Broyles said...

If your choices of field of study were language or chocolate, I'd opt for the chocolate JUST FOR THE LABS.


8:43 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Ah yes. There have been very few moments of silence since my son started talking.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous much more than a mom said...

A wise woman told me...never tell your child to stop talking as there will come a day when you will pine for the chatter of a child in your home. ;-)

9:07 PM  
Blogger Madeline said...

Aren't children just amazing to watch? They are like little walking scientific studies. It's just fascinating. Frustrating as all get out at times...but still fascinating.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

Ooooo how exciting .... hasn't anyone warned you? Once they start they NEVER stop talking ... It is fun, frustrating, wonderful and exhausting all at once!

5:34 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

look at his sweet face!!

how much fun is it going to be when he is talking little people talk to his new baby??

sooo fun!

8:06 AM  
Blogger Hip Mom's Guide said...

Oh, how fun! And, yes, you'll look forward to those hours after bedtime when you can hear - wait, what is it? - silence.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Fly is so adorable! The chatter is charming, but one does wish for a quiet moment now and again.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

So very, very lucky!

9:21 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Aw, yes. Constant little people chatter. That's what bedtime was invented for!

9:47 PM  
Blogger Nadine said...

That picture is awesome. Amazing how they start to be little people. They come out with the most interesting things.

12:23 AM  
Blogger mollie said...

"Momma, momma, momma, momma, why, why, why, why....."
Just wait until you have 2 little chatterboxes on the car! Whew! Sometimes I wish I had one of those window thingy-s that separate the driver in a Limo from the passengers...wouldnt that be nice!

8:06 AM  
Blogger groovyoldlady said...

"Mamma, WATCH THIS!"

Oh yeah, you're going to LOVE it. Then, once they're teens they either don't talk at all to you (because they're ALWAYS talking/texting to their friends) or they talk AT you.

Despite my seeming cynisism (sp?), even as I type this I am smiling over the make believe world my girlies are in. Their play conversations are hilarious!

Having a bad day? Focus on a child. It's guaranteed to lift you up!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Freckle Face Girl said...

I have to say that the constant chatter all day is TOUGH to handle. By the end of the day, I can't wait to put Lexi into bed. It is enough to drive a mom CRAZY! It is partly fun too though. Good luck!

5:39 PM  
Blogger Mozi Esme said...

Yeah! I'm also slowly coming to this awareness... I sometimes have trouble understanding everything my kid is saying sometimes, but she is definitely talking. Hopefully I'll have several months to gradually become fully aware!

Enjoy the chatter!

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

It is incredible to observe the "transformation," isn't it? I love the fact that our 2-year-old can communicate so freely. It certainly makes life easier...and harder...but mostly easier. :)

P.S. Do let me know if you find a university that offers a degree in chocolate. I can just see the diploma hanging on my wall now: Dark Chocolate, PhD.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Jen S. said...

Isn't it wonderful being able to have conversations with our children? I just love it.

1:45 PM  

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