As Fleur develops language skills, she puts them to very practical uses. She asks for snacks, articles of clothing, and people. Of late, though, that also entails directives. Orders.
Daddy, eat! Daddy, sit! Daddy, [throw this] away!
I fear our interactions with the ever listening Big Sister have encouraged this style of direction. The first directives were aimed at it. The “Meow” the cat. Then Galahad. Of late, that has included the parents.
Ah, well, at least she is getting me to eat my oatmeal in the morning.
Parents of toddlers master a patois spoken by a population of one. We come to understand the various mixtures of missing consonants or inappropriate vowels. Then repeat back to the one the correct pronunciation.
A section of the brain is devoted to tracking how they use the phonemes. Then mapping that to meaning. Basically it is like learning an almost foreign language. The usage is similar. The grammar is simpler though growing more complex over time.
For each she uses it as it ought. She clearly has studied how we do and wants to do it herself.
This morning, I brushed my teeth in front of her. The idea being to tap into this mimic center. It worked pretty well. She was so busy studying me brushing my teeth she was not at all resistant to hers getting brushed. This might be the avenue to getting her doing it herself.
Fleur picked up something off the floor, popped it in her mouth, stood up, and met my gaze. She spun around and took off. She knew I was coming for it without me having to say it.
She is about a year from having developed the Theory of Mind. With it, she is able to know what I am thinking about the situation. In the classic situation, a researcher shows putting something in a box. Another moves it while the first is not present. Then the child asked where the first thinks it is located.
The taking off means she knows something of what I am thinking. She just would think I know what she knows.
My father had a single sister. My mother had brothers and sisters. I should ask, but I wonder if this lack of paternal family is why my father’s friends were my uncles. I cannot think of any friends my mother had who were platonic aunts or uncles.
I still honor these men with “Uncle” titles. Occasionally, if it becomes confusing, I will explain they’re a friend of Dad’s.
What led me down this thinking is I also have the single sibling. Maybe I should label my friends as uncles for Fleur? How does one go about this? Ask permission?