Catching up on Bitti

It’s been too long again. The weeks fly by in a mundane blur and amidst it all, Bitti learns so many new words and grammar rules that I can’t keep up. Her pronunciation has improved markedly. Now she can say a few more consonant clusters. E.g. ‘sisa’ is now ‘spider’. And her use of the past tense is getting better, but there are still amusing constructions like, ‘I didn’t ate it’. And even better, ‘I don’t got that one’.

She is regurgitating more and more of what I say to her, which is concerning for many reasons. She stayed at her nana’s house a few weeks ago and was quite upset about their habit of leaving the TV one while they were occupied with other tasks, telling them to turn it off because they weren’t watching it! Nana was highly amused. She has no trouble speaking up if it is to inform on another person’s wrongdoing. Her childcare carers tell me that she often tells them about something naughty another child has done, or even tells that child directly not to do it. Great, she’s gonna be that kid in school.

Along with her improved speech is a better memory. She tells me stories now about her day. So-and-so threw bark chips in her face (explains the dirty nose), or she had a visit to a different room at childcare. And I am sometimes surprised by how far back she can remember events. The other day we were in the local park and she suddenly started talking about when we went on an egg hunt in the bushes nearby. That was obviously at Easter, six months ago when she was only just past two years old. It seems mad that she can remember that, but can’t recall what she had for lunch! It obviously made an impression. But then, it’s chocolate, why wouldn’t it?

Increasingly, she is paying close attention to how I read. She used to never question me about how I got the words I said out of books. But ever since the Mr Magee book with the ‘Ooooo’, she has been interrogating me about letters and words when I am reading. She asks me to point out ‘her’ letter (the one her name starts with), and we hunt it on the pages of her books. She likes to cover up the words deliberately so I can’t read. Although with some books (such as that bloody FROZEN), I know it all by heart anyway.

She also notices the difference between the way I say words and the way she does. A common refrain from her nowadays is ‘I can’t say my words’, when she is trying to saying a word that is a bit tricky or simply completely beyond her ability. For example, she says ‘Ocpod’ while I say ‘Octonauts’. She’ll say, ‘you say it different, mummy.’ and we spend some time sounding it out slowly until she gets the shits and we move on to something less frustrating. But I love her mispronunciations, they’re cute and sometimes accidentally rude. What’s not to love? Like when ‘pancake’ became cumcake



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