The continuing adventures of Beau Yarbrough

A week in words

Thursday, April 2, 2009, 18:46
Section: Life

It’s been a busy week for James.

He’s been “reading” his (excellent) book Snugglepuppy by Sandra Boynton, complete with pointing to the “oooooo”s in the story every time the dog says it, and has even constructed new ooos in the bathtub with his bath letters and numbers.

He’s saying what sounds like “mehmeh” for “mama.”

He’s finding ducks in books, on TV, among his toys or wherever and yelling “gak, gak” (the Q sound is tricky) when his search is a success.

And, the other night, when he was done with dinner, he signed “all done” (brushing invisible crumbs away off your chest) and pushed his food away.

He’s not doing any of it but the oooooos and the gaks consistently, but he’s picked up the regularity of all his speaking and signing. His baby talk days are clearly coming to an end.

James’ linguistic twofer

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 15:53
Section: Life

Jenn hands me a kid’s plate of spaghetti from Pizza Factory to give to James. To get his attention away from the toys and onto mealtime, she signs “eat” (clasped fingers going into the mouth) and says it to him.

James responds by doing the same, both signing and speaking as he heads toward the table.

As our eyes go wide, he erases all doubt by doing it again.

He really likes that spaghetti.

Twenty months

Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 8:13
Section: Life

James behind the couch

A photo taken almost two weeks ago now.

James now uses the “more” sign (touching the fingertips of both hands together) all the time and then points to what he wants. He seems to think it means “want,” but “more” is probably a bit esoteric. He’s also super-interested in flash cards and picture books, anything that can build vocabulary, really. He’ll often drag me to point at stuff, either at home or at the park, and point at things in rapid succession, so I’ll say their names. He’s not saying any of it back yet (most of the alphabet is “E!” in his vocabulary, for instance), other than “CAT!” but he’s clearly prepping for it.

And yes, his site is down. When I updated this blog to the latest version of WordPress, I did the same for his site, and got the White Screen of Death as a result. I’m transitioning between two computers, and once that’s complete, I’ll spend an afternoon reinstalling his site from scratch, which should hopefully resolve the issue.

Nineteen months

Friday, February 13, 2009, 17:32
Section: Life

James being silly before bedtime

James has started communicating more lately: In addition to “CAT!” and “ssssh” (fish), he’s begun signing “Daddy,” “cracker” (when he actually wants a cracker, instead of just imitating the kids on TV) and “more,” although he only does that when he wants a sip of soda from a straw, so he may not realize it’s used for more than that.

He will also tow an adult to whatever he wants and point at it, including getting a diaper when he wants to be changed. He’s even asked for a bath.

The human cursor

Monday, February 2, 2009, 17:08
Section: Life

Wikipedia defines a cursor thusly:

A cursor is a moving placement or pointer that indicates a position. English-speakers have used the term with this meaning since the 16th century, for a wide variety of movable or mobile position-markers.

Note that it says nothing about being computer-generated or anything of the like, which makes James’ new cursor use Wikipedia-approved.

While his language use has picked up a great deal in the last two weeks — he refers to the fish tank as “shhhh!” and runs around the house yelling “CAT!” at a shell-shocked Hanna and Lucky — he’s also taken to using human cursors. Specifically, his parents’ hands.

James’ new trick is to grab me by the finger and drag me behind him to something he wants, whether it’s an object that he thinks is a toy (a bright plastic can of fish food), an actual toy placed out of reach or as a silent plea to unlock a baby gate leading to the study or the bathroom. (He’s actually started asking for baths, too.)

This is a cute behavior, except for the death-grip he gets one’s finger in before running toward the object of his interest. Still, between this and the language use, it feels like we’ve reached another important milestone.


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Veritas odit moras.