19 April 2019

Choice Words

Cyrus is not what you'd consider an early talker.

In fact, until just recently, he hasn't said any words at all. Sometimes he appears to be attempting to carry on an intelligent conversation, but none of us can understand him, so in the end he gives up, due to our clear lack of comprehension of baby talk.

Angel and I both dutifully talk to him, accompanying words with actions and items, using both Spanish and English throughout every day. We read stories to him in both languages, sing songs in both languages. He gets plenty of exposure to words, he just doesn't use any.

I'm not worried at this point. Every kid has their own timeline. I mean, he was walking very well at 10 months so I think he just decided that walking was a bigger priority for him than talking.

But he has started using his first two words over the past week or so:




Out of all the words in two of the world's most influential languages...that's what he went with.

What amuses me is that neither of the words have any practical, communicative use. I've tried explaining to him many times that if he will learn words like "food" or "milk" or "water" he will have an easier time getting what he wants. I've tried telling him that if he learns "Hola!" and "Bye-bye!" and "Good morning!" and "Please?" he will win friends and influence people. If he learns Mama or Papa or Aunt Sarah or Grandma or Grandpa he'll woo the hearts of those closest to him.

But no, "Wow!" and "Boom!" is what he decided on.

I encouraged teaching him "Wow!" because it seemed like an easy and generally positive word to say, and saying something is better than nothing when I'm worried that the pediatrician is about to start hounding me on his lack of speaking.

"Boom!" came because it's his favorite page in his Cozy Classics board book: "War and Peace"

He will impatiently wait as we hurriedly read through all the pages that come before, and then as soon as we flip to this page:

He'll say, "Boom!"

It's adorable.

Still, rather useless on the whole.

Here's to hoping more words are coming. This morning we were all lying in bed, cuddling with Cyrus, and trying to get him to talk.

"Cyrus, say Boom!"
"Say Wow!"
"Say Mama."
"No, say Mama."

Know of any other kids who picked slightly non-traditional first words?
AnneMarie said...

What a cutie! I think it's so funny that out of all the good language exposure you're giving him, those are the words he went with. I'm sure he'll get more words at some point-I once read a childhood development book that said some kids are sitters (they literally sit around and absorb language) and some kids are movers (their physical development and movement comes earlier, and language comes later). I have totally seen this play out with my firstborn, who didn't get movement early on at all (he was over a year when he finally learned to walk) but his language was great. His pediatrician once told us that she didn't really talk until the age of 2-and she was using simple, full sentences. It really is true that every kid is different!

Bailey said...

I've heard that kids who are bilingual are slightly "behind" in learning to speak, simply because their little brains are learning two languages at once!

Kristina said...

Ha ha, that's awesome, actually. It's his personality I guess. And now you know that he CAN say words--it's just that the words he thinks are important are not the words you (or others) think are important. Oh and good luck not lifting heavy things with a toddler around. :)

Michelle said...

Gracie’s pediatrician told me a lot of kids tends to either focus on gross motor skills or language for awhile. It doesn’t mean they’re behind, it just means they know their priorities. Gracie was a very early talker, but she didn’t walk until she was almost two! It’s fun to see what matters most to them.

Angi said...

This! My piano teacher when I was younger was Japanese. She taught her son both English and Japanese, and he didn’t speak in full sentences until he was around 3. Not that it will take Cyrus that long necessarily, but I have also read that it’s totally normal for bilingual kids to take longer to learn to talk. That, combined with his early walking, and I would say he’s doing just fine!! :)

Callie said...

Clarice didn’t really start talking until she turned two, so I don’t think this is unusual at all. Georgie’s favorite words are “yay!” (which is super cute), and some word we can’t quite decipher which she says OVER and OVER. I love this stage, it’s so fun to see what babies say!

Carolann @ Finding Ithaka said...

He's such a sweetheart! My first word was Ernie. Like Bert and Ernie. I think my parents let me watch too much Sesame Street! My brother didn't really talk until he was 3. Now he doesn't shut up :)

Lily Fang said...

I love that kid's version of War and Peace haha! And I'm actually not sure what my first words were, nor my brother's. Probably something typical like "mama," nothing as fun as "boom" or "wow"! I'm sure Cyrus will be knocking everyone's socks off with his vocab in his own time :)

Jenny Evans said...

My oldest's first word was "meow." We were staying with my mom at the time and my daughter really liked to crawl after the cat. Most of the other kids said "uh oh" first. Slightly more useful, but not very.

Elizabeth said...

I can't remember my kids' first words. Maybe I have it on my blog! You'll be happy that you wrote about your son here, soon he'll be talking a blue streak and you'll forget the early days. Still way too young to even worry about his speech skills. I know 2 year old bilinguals that still don't speak much. That War & Peace version had me cracking up. I remember the Russian pediatrician asking us to be teaching our son singular/plural, body parts, etc when he was still under a year old. Right after we said he didn't talk yet. Silly.

Elizabeth said...

Also, I miss my son saying "boom!" Although my daughter is 2.5 and still says it, "I went BOOM."