Monday, April 21, 2008

talking and coughing

If I had a regular paying job, I would have called in sick today. Gripped with a stuffy head and nasty cough, I took it a little slow with my toddler-gig this afternoon. Sam has started saying a new word (no surprise to any of us)...door, which sounds like a high pitched "doooooR" and is very charming, especially since he is often smiling with glee while saying it. We had suspected that this word was in play for a few days, and then it became positively clear on a neighborhood walk Sam and I took last Friday.

I had him in the ergo carrier (on my back) and we just walked up and down the pretty tree-lined streets, me having serious house dreams, and Sam babbling away thinking who-knows-what. Until. He started protesting that we were walking past the park rather than stopping! I should have known better of course, but it was almost naptime and we couldn't stop, so what I did to distract him was to start pointing at things and naming them, "look at the bushes, Sam!...oh, and there's a stick!..." exciting stuff like that. It's worked before, what can I say. But then, Sam started doing it himself, pointing towards the houses and saying "dooooooR!" I got excited too and soon we were pointing out and exclaiming with every door we passed. There were a lot of them!

Since then, it's become a regular thing for Sam to remind us that there is a door in the room, or on the page of the book, or on a house we pass on a walk. In fact sometimes nothing else matters except where the next door is. We love it, and Sam's pronunciation is getting really good too, with the "R" sound at the end becoming more present.

So today, I pulled out one of my old favorite childhood books that I recently rediscovered in an old box, The Giant Walt Disney Word Book, published by Golden Press in 1971. It is inscribed to me from my Dad on May 16, 1974, apparently following a business trip to NYC. I adored this book. It is 141 pages of detailed scenes with labelled objects and old-timey Disney characters doing things (such as On The Farm and When We are Sick, pictured above). Since Sam is really into his word books now, I thought he would enjoy this one, while I could remain on the couch within reach of the kleenex. Well, we spent over an hour looking at page after page pointing out all the doors. Sam would say, "doooooor! doooooor!" and I would say, "Yes! *coughcough* I see the door! *coughcough* That's a good one!"

And so the afternoon passed. Sam never seemed to mind all the coughing and nose blowing...he was too busy learning to talk.

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