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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Applying language

Cayden has a small, but growing, vocabulary. And he's starting to apply it in the theoretical. That is, instead of just pointing/grunting at unfamiliar objects, he is starting to use existing known words to represent new things. What a neat phase in language development this is; I'd forgotten just how much I love it.

Right now the word he's testing out is "nest". With all of the leaves gone from the trees and many of the birds departed for southern climates, we are finding a lot of nests on our walks. I've been showing them to the boys--up close, in a few cases. We found a robin's nest with two "dud" eggs still inside, and tore down a bluejay nest from the neighbor's porch overhang (oh, and for the record: dang--bluejays are sloppy nest makers!).

Anyway.

He's making connections. My sister-in-law has a grapevine wreath with a raffia bow hanging in her front hallway. It's a nest. One of his picture books has a photo of a goat eating some grass. Nest. Hay bale at the farm? You guessed it.

I am getting such a kick out of this. It's a huge cognitive shift, from learning labels to assigning them on his own. This is the time when you look at your kid anew and say, "Man, you're really clever!"

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