language skillz

I have this theory that Cate can say a lot more than we think she can. She says so many things with obvious intent, the only problem is that Dave and I don’t understand her, so a lot of times we chalk it up to babble, when I think she actually is trying to tell us something.

Last night, I was chopping zucchini for dinner and she came in to the kitchen with her little beach ball and threw it to me. Since I was in the middle of making dinner, I couldn’t stop to play with her, so I tried to gently kick the ball toward her. And of course, since I have zero coordination, I missed totally and the ball rolled right past her, several feet away.

Cate turned around and ran after the ball, yelling clear as a bell, “I GO GET IT!!”

And my head exploded. The end.

She did it again this morning. She has another ball that’s really small (about tennis-ball size, but very soft and bouncy), and she threw it to me. I rolled it back to her, and she grabbed it and proudly announced, “I GOT IT!”

I told Patsy about this, and she said this is because Cate and her little daycare friend Mason play with balls in her backyard all the time, and I guess she learned it from him. Still, I am impressed.

Also, my theory that she understands a heck of a lot for someone who doesn’t talk that much? Yeah. Two examples to prove my point:

A. Yesterday evening, we were going to take her outside to play for a while, and Dave was trying to get Cate’s shoes on. He sat down in the dining room chair with her shoes, and she ran away from him to follow me into the next room. I said to her, “Go back to Daddy so he can put your shoes on and we can go outside.” Before you could even blink, she was in Dave’s lap getting her sneakers velcro’ed.

B. We were in the front yard, and she headed for the street to go see the neighbor’s horse. And that’s fine, but some safety issues are non-negotiable, so as we got close to the end of the driveway, I told her she had to hold my hand to cross the street. Normally this isn’t a problem; she definitely understands “hold my hand” and usually doesn’t mind doing it. But on this particular occasion, she was in a mood, so she proceeded to have a huge meltdown and threw herself onto the ground. I sat on the driveway next to her and said, “ok, you need to calm down, or we’re going to go back inside.” A few more gratuitous sniffles and she was fine. Huh. Whaddya know, even threats are starting to work at this age.

So yeah, it’s pretty awesome. Now I just have to figure out what the other 95% of the stuff she says means.

2 thoughts on “language skillz

  1. I know exactly what you mean. It gets a little worse here because my Miss C uses signs that we think she might have made up or that we are just too dense to get. One of them resembles the outside sign but she uses it in the oddest places. Another we thought was light (she corrected us, using the correct light sign) so again we are lost. She sings a lot too so sometimes she is singing instead of talking. Talk about confusing! I am sure C-baby understands a heck of a lot more than she can tell you though. I love “I go get it!”

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