Saturday, 6 April 2013


One of Bee's main challenges is her lack of language skills. A little while back when I collected Bee from nursery a member of staff mentioned they were really pleased as Bee had used a couple of words they hadn't heard from her. They then went on to say that she was now up to a handful of words she was regularly using. Which was great, except at home she was using dozens...

So over the Christmas break, while she was with me all day, every day I decided to make a list of the words she was using and how she was pronouncing them. I'd lost track of my old lists when she hit 50 words and it concerned me that, although we knew she could use a lot, nursery wasn't hearing them from her. By the time nursery started again in January my list had over 90 distinct words, yet within nursery she was only using 5/6. Of course, nursery isn't unique: Bee doesn't talk much at all outside of home, regardless of where she is. She especially doesn't do well if put on the spot. I decided to keep on with my list, adding to it whenever I heard a new word from Bee. We're now up to 143. Compared to the average toddler milestones (a 2-year-old should be at around 200-300 words) Bee is still quite a way behind but she's progressing and her language seems to be on a steep learning curve at the moment. The words can still take a little deciphering though: "ba" could be bath or bag and we rely a lot on context.

My favourite at the moment is "pi pi dee dee" for Peppa Pig DVD and I'll always love the way she calls Mr Tumble "beebul".

In the last two weeks she's found a new word which was thrilling at first and now I just want to gag her. This was a conversation earlier today:

Bee: "Mama, Pi pi dee dee"
Me: "Not at the moment"
Bee: "Why?"
Me: "Because we're going to get Daddy from work soon
Bee: "Why?"
Me: "Because he's been working all day and now it's time for home"
Bee: "Why?"
Me: "Because Daddy needs to go to work to earn pennies"
Bee: "Why?"
Me: "So we can pay our bills and buy nice things for Bee"
Bee: "Why?"......

.......and on it goes. And on and on and on. I don't really have any experience of it (Bee being our first) but I feel most kids would reach a natural stopping point when there's no longer a reason to ask why. We don't get that with Bee. We get to a point where we go round in a question/answer circle as there's sometimes just no answer for "why".

It's a wonderful development, we're genuinely thrilled that Bee has reached a level of curiosity about the world and the things going on around her, enough to ask about them. However she does have a habit of being very, very repetitive. We often have the same conversations and the same seems to be true of "why", it comes after every single statement/comment/answer we give. Earlier today we had a conversation that went like this:

Bee: "Mama, play doll"
Me: "Of course we can play dolls honey"
Bee: "Why?"
Me: "Well, because you asked to"
Bee: "Why?"
Me: "Well I think because you want to play dolls"
Bee: "Why?"
Me: "Because you like your dolls"
Bee: "Why?"....

....And so on. Sometimes I think she asks as a matter of routine, rather than a genuine curiosity as to the answer. The above conversation doesn't seem to make much sense as she's asking me to explain why she wants to do a certain thing. Still, Bee asking "why" all the time is opening up more conversational opportunities with her and we don't seem to be stuck as much in the same topics that she will normally stick to. Which can only be a good thing!

1 comment:

Mikaela said...

First off, I absolutely love the last picture of Bee. She's looking so grown, and absolutely beautiful. I remember when Isabella was about Bee's age, I also put together "the list" of the words she could say. She used to call oatmeal "meemeal" and bathroom "ahboom"...I really miss her first "words". She worked so hard to learn them, and to hear her speak now, you would almost never know she could barely speak at 2 and was just starting to string words together at 3. I also remember clearly how worried I was when I realized that she never asked questions. Never used why, where, when, what... it was staggering to hear other kids wonder about the world around them, and here was my child, silent while we tried to master a few basic sign language signs to at least gain a clue as to what she wanted or needed. And then "why" started...and I'm so with you... I was so excited about, and then soo frustrated with that word! Bella doesn't use it now as often as she did, but she does still repeat herself A LOT... sometimes saying the same thing in as many different ways as possible for what feels like hours. I've realized that it's more for herself, she likes to hear herself talk. She gets fixated on certain events and she gets excited that she can phrase what she is thinking about in so many different ways so that she can continue to talk about and think about it long after she made her point! As frustrating as it is, I have to remind myself that it wasn't long ago that I cried for a week straight thinking that she would never ever talk. Who would have known?!
I love reading about and seeing pictures of Bee because it brings me back to Isabella at that age... those were some of the hardest...but also the most beautiful times of our lives. <3