Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ma, Da, Na, Achoo?

Gavin has been speaking for awhile now. I'll admit, I can't understand much of what he says, but he certainly does have a lot to say.

This was his first word. He looked right at Kat and said it. I was a little hurt. I wanted Da to be his first word, but I got over it. Actually, everything was Ma to Gavin for awhile. Cherrios were Ma, the kitties were Ma, his diapers were Ma. He'd grab or point to something and just declare, "Ma!" Once he looked right at me and said, "Ma!" That is a conflicting feeling, the pride of being included in the Ma group, but also being emasculated by my one-year-old son.

Soon I had my vengeance  During our summer trip in the states, I spent a lot of time in the back seat with Gavin. There we practiced our peek-a-boo skills and he learned the word Da. With his dual vocabulary, he divided Da into all things that were fun, and Ma into his needs and comforts. When he wanted to play he would yell, "Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da!" However, when he was tired, grumpy or hungry, the pleading Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-s would come out. At this point, Kat was a bit less proud than she had been before.

After dividing his world into wants and needs, Gavin then made a category of things he did not want. These he titled Na (his version of no). For a bit, all the Ma-s and Da-s disappeared and all we heard was a string of Na-s.

These days the Na-s have decreased in frequency and Ma and Da are back in fashion. However, I sneezed the other day and noticed that Gavin did a little impression of this action. He would bend slightly at the knees and let our a string of Achoo-s. Interesting that Gavin's fourth word isn't really a word at all but an impression of his father sneezing. This brings up two realizations  One, I better be careful about how I talk, act, and behave around the boy--he's more impressionable than I thought. Two, man, I must sneeze a lot.

Once I noticed Gavin's impression of me, I noticed that he was mimicking other things. The kitties would meow and a high pitched, one-year-old's version of a meow would come calling back. Gavin's ability to communicate with sick people and the animal kingdom is amazing.

Lastly, the bouts of babbling have increased. Gavin will look straight into my eyes and with a small grin inquire, "Bootah-bootah-bootah-bootah-bootah?" Whatever Bootah is, it is of great importance to Gavin for he will continue this line of enquiry for up to 20 minutes at a time. Four o'clock in the morning also seems to be optimal time for posing such questions. Gavin, I can only hope that someday you will find the location and / or meaning to the Bootah you are looking for.

(To Mark and Tina's friend, Giovanni, who remarked that Gavin might be saying a bad Spanish word (puta), I say no-- it is a  definitely "Bootah". Still, we're not taking Gavin to Mexico or any other Spanish speaking country any time soon.)

Inattentive Father and Offspring

School Picture of the Problem Child
I've been an inattentive father to this blog. Part of the problem is I have too many children. There's this beauty, SP Gachon. Also this little site, W2 Gachon. How about this doosey, Active ESL Blog. But the real problem child is this site, Active ESL. This is a continuation of my capstone project for my masters. I can't decide if I'm proud or disappointed by it-- just like a real problem child. Granted, all of the above are related in some way to my profession (SP Gachon really gets humming during the semester with embedded Google forms for students to enter journal writing and such). Yes, it's pretty exciting; however, this blog is the one that really chronicles the important moments of my life, of which there have been many, and which I have been negligent in writing. A hope, a wish, a resolution-- a bit more chronicling.