Friday, September 12, 2008

Moo, Baa, La La La!

When Molly was very young, about two months old, I found that reading Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton would calm her down if fussiness was near at hand. Eventually, of course, having the book in my hand was not necessary.

It was so successful a tactic that, after a short while, I only had to begin to recite the poem (because that's what it is, really) and she would immediately smile. She is almost a year-and-a-half (16 months) and the approach still works as well as it did the first time!

Now, she tries to mouth the words as I intentionally slow my speech and enunciate each word. So far, I've only heard "la".

Admittedly, reciting this in a crowded doctor's office when the baby starts screaming is a little embarrassing. But, I've asked myself, after giving birth, can anything really embarrass me anymore?

At any rate, I have enjoyed a rare opportunity of having had my first baby while already raising my first child and this places me in another odd category: I'm the mother of an older child and yet I have spent the better part of a year discovering how a baby relates to books and pictures.

At first, when she grasped a book, her interest was in turning pages. Then, after a short while, I noticed that she would go back through a book and look for a specific page, examine it and then continue through.

Molly now thumbs through books with a purpose: she's looking for something, usually food (she calls it 'na-na' ) or balls (known as 'bah') and will point to it when she sees it. Initially, I couldn't decide if she was asking me for food or just showing me that she knew what an object was.

(Last week or so, she was trying to tell me she was hungry. She was already in bed, so, having unsuccessfully proffered a bottle, I assumed she was extending the meaning of the word 'na-na'. In a fit of absolute frustration, she held up a soft block and pointed to a very unrealistic depiction of a slice of a citrus fruit and yelled, "Na-na". When the lightbulb appeared above my head, I raced downstairs to get her some yogurt and she was happy.)

So, you see, it isn't entirely improbable that she could be asking for food or for a ball when she points to the picture and utters the word. But, usually, she's just showing me a picture.

Also, I've noticed three behaviours: she will point to any circular thing -- usually, an image -- and call it a 'bah' and it happens at home or in public; she will lately try to grab an object from a book (so it seems) which creates a noise similar to nails on chalkboard; and, she likes to use her finger to outline an image in a book.


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  2. Suzanne10:26 AM

    Thank you :-)