Fleur spoke her first sentence. She wanted to make sure that it was a day where we would all stay home. She has really been using “home” quite a bit whether we are there or not. Usually she will ask whether each person on the list of family members are going to be home. For the week that my mother stayed with us for Christmas, she was included in the list of people.
This repetition on “home” seems likely tied to the disruption daycare has played on her. She seems to have done well at daycare other than some frustration at dropoff and pickup. Her vocabulary has exploded. She has gone from being a passive listener of books to being an active participant wanting to turn the pages and point at interesting things on the pages. Still, she doesn’t like being left there.
I think home really means getting to stay with us. Even if it is just me. And she learned it from The Littlest Family’s Big Day where the big payoff page is a fold out with HOME on a banner. We read it loud and emphasize the word. And she loves it so much.
It seems like home is one of her first words because being there is so very important to her. She needs to hear that we are going there to be happy about being where we are. It has me thinking about language acquisition may be dependent on desire. The things that are most important to her are the words she is going to pick up earliest.
Ride a horsey, ride a horsey
Down to town. Woah little Fleur
Don’t faaaaaaaallllllll Doooooown.
Fleur loves it. Over and over and over. Again. Again. Again. She doesn’t have the word, but she will get in place and help you get ready to do it again.
It reminds me of the engineer who built a ballista for launching balls for his dog. As the parent, I tire of the game before she does. That is why I have a spouse!
I usually show Fleur videos I make of her doing something and gauge her enjoyment. Her face lights up seeing herself do something she just minutes prior. (Well, seconds because she now comes over to check the screen after seeing me record it.)
A Facebook memory popped up with her saying “dada” around the first time. I showed her that video and got a puzzled expression. She likely did not recognize herself. nor remembered the event. But, she quickly changed the expression to amusement, so I wonder what she was thinking about it.
Facebook Memories is an useful tool to trigger fond memories about past events. (Though, I vaguebooked too much.) Seeing old milestones can change a frustrating day into a good one.
A nurse showed an excellent approach to getting Fleur to cooperate. She took the temperature of the doll and thanked the doll by name. Fleur became curious and let it happen to her.
Recently, we took another trip to the doctor. She was resistant to this different nurse doing stuff, so I suggested the demonstration which helped a good bit. This nurse was not as enthusiastic.
Need to use this tool more often.
Confident the toddler does not need glasses. She can spot desired objects from a mile away. Desired objects could be the sweets Mama put on a shelf not visible from the floor but Fleur can see while I am holding her. Or the random item for which she has a current obsession. She desperately wants the thing at that point. Which is often where the “use your words” plea comes into play.
This ability to find things also applies to the single piece of trash on the floor in a room. Or a single strand of my wife’s hair in the bath.
We play a game: One of us parents will count to five and say that number of fingers are coming after you and tickle Fleur. (My wife does to five and tickles with both hands. I will to five & use one hand or ten &use both.) In true dopamine fashion the smile is largest in the middle (three and eight). It did make me wonder if she recognized the words, but that apparently comes around 3-4 however there is evidence that starting around 14 months they have an approximate numerical system that allows them to recognize it.
Children do not understand the meanings of count words like “two” and “three” until the preschool years. But even before knowing the meanings of these individual words, might they still recognize that counting is “about” the dimension of number? Here in five experiments, we asked whether infants already associate counting with quantities. We measured 14‐ and 18‐month olds’ ability to remember different numbers of hidden objects that either were or were not counted by an experimenter before hiding. As in previous research, we found that infants failed to differentiate four hidden objects from two when the objects were not counted—suggesting an upper limit on the number of individual objects they could represent in working memory. However, infants succeeded when the objects were simply counted aloud before hiding. We found that counting also helped infants differentiate four hidden objects from six (a 2:3 ratio), but not three hidden objects from four (a 3:4 ratio), suggesting that counting helped infants represent the arrays’ approximate cardinalities. Hence counting directs infants’ attention to numerical aspects of the world, showing that they recognize counting as numerically relevant years before acquiring the meanings of number words.
Experiment one: The infants watched a demonstration of putting items in a box some while counted and others using “this” instead of counting. Then the researcher had the child do the task on sometimes two or four objects (two in front and two in back). They measured the search time and found the children searched longer for the two when counted. The supposition here is the counting primed working memory for four items. Or setting a summary representation array using an approximate number system (ANS).
Experiment two: In this one, the researchers teased out the efficacy of the ANS . The two tasks were both counted prior to hiding. This time the search time was measured after the first two were found. In the other, the search time was measure after the third was retrieved. If ANS were used, then they should not distinguish between 3 and 4, which was the result.
Experiment three: The number of objects was increased to 4 and 6 as it should exceed the capability of working memory. It confirmed ANS is likely the component in play.
Experiment four: Same procedures as three but measured like two.
I would love to see this have with more kids and replicated.
Wang, Jinjing & Feigenson, Lisa. (2019). Infants recognize counting as numerically relevant. Developmental Science. 10.1111/desc.12805.
The wife, Galahad, and I are all Marvel fans. Fleur’s first movie was Avenger: Infinity War. (She wore headphones and slept all the way to the credits.) Her birth announcement was a photo of us, her ultrasound, and a Hulk onesie.
Maybe we should have picked another superhero? Someone wise and measured and not associated with, “Hulk smash!” I am not normally one to subscribe to superstition, but it certainly feels like another onesie could have produced a less forceful child when she doesn’t get her way.
Then again, maybe one of her parents has too much affinity for smashing.