Sunday, 26 July 2009

Molly Talks

Molly continues to grow and achieve important new milestones. She is beginning to get the hang of speech and we have had the first real couple of words. Researchers now know that long before a baby utters her first word, she's learning the rules of language and how adults use it to communicate and by listening to others speak a baby learns what words sound like and how sentences are structured. In fact, many researchers believe the work of understanding language begins even before birth and that she is already familiar with important people’s voices on the first day of life.

Molly’s first words are animal related. She is fascinated by the cat and as soon as she spots him she points and says ka, more like the Ford car than the animal, but we all know what she means. She crawls after him and desperately wants to touch but when she catches up with him there comes a last minute uncertainty and she becomes apprehensive. After a while she gives the thing a pat and waits for a reaction. Luckily the cat is old and knackered and whilst a few years ago it might have objected to this unwanted attention now he just hasn’t got the energy left to do anything about it and he just wanders off in an indignant sort of way.

Her second word is qua and I know that doesn’t sound like a real word at all but it is short for quack as in duck and she says this when she is playing with a felt mobile that hangs from the light fitting in the dining room. Sometimes she uses the shortened alternative k and all she needs to do now is put the two ends together to get the full quack! Most of her talking is about mimicking other people and it is possible to have quite a lengthy conversation with her using meaningless sounds and expressions. All of this is important of course because it means that she is experimenting with new sounds and how to use them.

Progress towards first steps seems to have slowed down but she if pretty quick on all fours. Sometimes when she is standing the first step is nearly there and she seems to be really thinking about it but then she drops to the floor and uses the crawl instead because I suppose it must be easier. She is working on balance and poise and I am certain it will come sooner rather than later. One thing she is especially good at is the bottom shuffle turn around and she can do an impressive 180º turn with a little kick and a quick spin, which gets her exactly where she wants to be.

She has got a house full of toys of course but she has a preference for things she shouldn’t be playing with and as well as the TV remote controller and the car keys she likes to play with cables and mobile phones. Given the amount of time that Sally spends on hers it must be in the genes and it seems to becoming naturally to her. This weekend it was golf clubs, which was my fault for leaving them in the house but uncannily once she had found them she seemed to know exactly what to do with them and certainly wasn’t going to have them taken off of her without a struggle.

She had a good time painting as well because Sally bought her some brightly coloured finger paints and she put together one or two little masterpieces in double quick time. In between getting smothered in yucky luminous paint Sally was trying to teach her the colours and by the end of the session she could pick the one that she was being told – or maybe it was just good luck. As well as the pictures she painted she also managed to paint her face and her vest and a substantial amount of the tabletop as well. At one point she experimented with eating it and then colouring her hair. Painting it seems is going to need constant supervision for quite a while to come.