Sunday, November 28, 2010

O, Ommy!

We have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with Luke’s verbal communication skills. He has never been a talker, waiting a while before saying his first words and still only reluctantly resorting to speech as a mode of communication. He also tends to omit the first sound of words, thereby lessening their impact and often muddling his meaning altogether. Often we ask him to ‘use words’ with no intelligible response, leaving him frustrated that I won’t fulfill his demand and me aggravated by his whining.

But once I finally figure out his way of saying a word, I grow attached to his quirky reinventions. For a long time I wondered if he had some sort of color blindness because he would say all of his colors reliably except for orange which was ‘juh” – green right? But eventually I realized that green is ‘geen’ and ‘juh’ is orange according to his pattern of removing the first sound, only this time he took off two sounds.*

Only a couple months ago did Luke begin to use the word mommy regularly. Before he would cry for me with a ‘ma-ma’ once in a while, but mostly he would just cry or whine and assume that I knew that the noise was for my benefit. But now when he wants me he calls out, ‘ommy!’ Sometimes Erik tries to correct his pronounciation, emphasizing the ‘'mmmuh’ sound, but I’m quick to interrupt and assure Luke that ‘ommy’ is the perfect way to say my name. There are plenty of mommies out there, I’d like to enjoy my elite ‘ommy’ status just a little while longer, thank you!

Fortunately, Luke has also yet to become a child who uses the word ‘no’ frequently, with anger, or even intelligibly! My parents joke that it’s because he never hears it and Erik likes to think it was reinforced by his consistent use of the phrase ‘not for you’ as a no substitute for Luke. Myself, I would like to think that it’s because our boy has such a contented temperament, although I’m not sure how that quality stacks with his whiny fits on the floor. Nevertheless I think we can all agree that his cuteness plus his pattern of removing a word’s first sound leaves him with the sweetest ‘no’ that there could be! If you ask him a question he’d like to decline, he simply shakes his head sweetly and says ‘oh’!

* Need a Lukan lexicon for colors? Red: ‘eye’, blue: ‘boo’, white: ‘ite’, yellow: ‘ellow’, black: ‘app’, purple: ‘buh-ple’, pink: ‘pin-tuh’, brown: ‘bown’.  He still is resistant to saying the names of most animals, though he will gladly let you know what sounds they make!

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