Our two-year-old, Gabrielle, is at the age of verbal discovery, deciphering what she is told, and weaving it into her own special spoken tapestry.
This morning she produced a drawing that included a heart. The heart was Corrine's contribution amidst Gabi's colorful scrawl. (Lots of lines, circles, loops and wriggles) She came to me as I sat at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and reading The Fellowship of the Ring for the 36th time in my life.
"A hawt!" she yelled, and I looked down at her holding her drawing. She was pointing to Corrine's heart.
"You're right. It's a heart!" I yelled back (because all forms of communication are in the form of window-vibrating exclamations. "I HAVE TO GO PEE!" or "IT'S CODE IN HERE!")
I then asked her where her heart is. She looked at me and scowled. A look of confusion.
"Here!" she shouted, but it came out as He-You because she can't yet wrap her tongue around the letter R. She was pointing at Corrine's drawing.
"No. That's a drawing!" I yelled, but happily. I believe in boisterous positive reinforcement.
She looked at the drawing, then at me and scowled again.
"Hawt!" she said and pointed.
"Where's Gabi's heart?"
She pointed at the drawing.
"Nope. That's a drawing!"
I then tapped her on the chest.
"Gabi's heart is here!"
She giggled. She's ticklish everywhere. I can point at her from across the room and make her giggle.
"Gabi's hawt?!?" she said, and tapped her own chest.
"I want to see it!"
She lifted her sweater and tucked her chin into her chest and studied her shirt.
"It's inside," I said.
"It's in here. It's inside!" I yelled.
"It's inside? Hawt inside?"
And so on and so forth for another ten minutes. She didn't grasp the concept of course, and really I didn't expect her to. I really just conduct these conversations so that I can hear her talk. I remember Fallon and Harrison, when they too came out of the verbal fog of toddlerhood to form complete (if not a bit garbled) sentences for the first time.
It was as if on a Monday they could only chip away at the words here and there, and then magically lifted a veil on Tuesday and could string words into sentences.
Fallon liked to sing "Strawberry Peels Forever!" when I was going through my Beatles stage 15 years ago.
Gabi's vocabulary list now includes hundreds of words, but these are some of my favorites:
No Nuts = Donuts "Daddy brought no nuts! Tanks you Daddy!"
Rinn = Corrine (She is learning that her mother has another name; e.g., "Riiiiinnn! Come he-ya. I gotta poop!")
Code = Cold ("Brrr. It's code")
Fiffin Seeping? = Griffin Sleeping?
Dissious = Delicious (Things that are pretty to her are delicious) "My Gabi Turner. I'm delicious."
Pider = Spider "That's a baby pider!"
Ring a-wound a Horses! = "Ring around a horses" when singing ring around a rosey.
There will only be one window of time that her conversation will be considered cute of course. All children go through this window and once on the other side, the side in which talking is almost exclusively arguing, it ceases to be cute, and becomes annoying. And then I'll have to wait another 15 years or so before our talks become enjoyable again.
But that has not happened yet, so I will take advantage as much as I can now.