Thursday, May 8, 2008

Extreme speech

I've started to notice a pattern with Danny, and it involves the word "love." "Mommy, I love bubbles!" "I love balls!" "More 'Bamboleo'! I love 'Bamboleo'!" At two, Danny is at the point where there is virtually no word or phrase he can't say, and his sentences are getting increasingly complex. (Although, he was trying to say, "Nice to meet you" today and instead said, "Mice to eat you," so he's not quite ready for Toastmasters.) I realize that so much of his verbal ability is based on what he hears us say or what we expose him to. For example, I'm sorry to report that one of his favorite words is "stupid," thanks to the various holiday-themed Charlie Brown shows we've viewed. Boy, does he love that word. Wait a minute - I just used "love." Hmmmm. How often do I use that word on a daily basis? And what does that teach him about love?

I got to thinking about this the other day when I said to him in the car, "I love you, Danny!" and he replied, "I love you, too." Of course I thought it was adorable and sweet, but at the same time it occurred to me that it was probably an automatic, almost Pavlovian response for him. He knew I'd think it was cute; he probably wasn't thinking about how much he loves his mommy. At what point do we impart the true meaning of words like "love"? "Milk," "tummy," etc. are so much easier! Even "no!" is concrete, although it's not learned overnight. I suppose it's just one more example of how parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. Thank heavens for wine. I love wine.