06 February 2007

sing and sign

cosmo sung his first recognizable song! he's been humming for months now, i'm not even sure when that started, but last night i discerned a familiar tune. we were in the great green chair, listening to the news when cosmo pulled away from nursing to sing "bah beh bah bome bah beh bee bome" with the rhythm and near melody of the all things considered theme song. it's quite telling, isn't it?-- that this is his first song? yes we are a couple of news junkies, and cosmo has heard this song at the same time every day for his entire life. mostly i'm embarrassed because NPR is basically corporate media that tries to pretend it is otherwise...and we listen to it twice a day. in any case, cosmo singing is terribly exciting. he knows he is doing it, he has picked up on our delighted response to it and he'll usually try it if we sing it for him, or he hears it on the radio. i must note here, that not only has he heard it on the radio daily, he has also heard us singing it, in imitation upon hearing it, or just because it's a catchy tune. again with the repetition. it really has an effect at this age...the same thing over and over again, and suddenly they just know it.

i've experienced this in the way cosmo has learned words, and begins to associate images or objects with these words...i.e. they have meaning. he points to the pumpkin when i say "where's the pumpkin?" at first it was just things like noses and belly buttons, but now it is not restricted to objects in his environment. a picture in a book is enough. he can also make the connection between a penguin on tv and the images in his book busy penguins or the football image on the puzzle, and his nerf football. we drum on drums while we read hand, hand, fingers, thumb.

he has many words, but uses them infrequently, and hesitantly. his voice is very soft. when he does speak, he gets the cadence down perfectly, and sometimes manages to mumble complex words, which he can't really pronounce, but knows how they sound. our months and months of signing to him actually had an impact too. now that he has tasted communication, he is eager to express himself, even when his voice isn't ready. tonight he made the sign for nursing...in context! and he also makes the potty sign, and will point to a picture of a potty and make the sign. he has a sign for diaper, more, all done, hi and bye, yes and no, and one he made up for ceiling fan. he also make one up for "where is the kitty? i don't know? where did he go?" basically, any intriguing question of some sort: he shrugs his shoulders and bends his elbows completely, arms up against his body, and spreads his fingers wide (not to be confused with "hot hot hot!") when we say "splits!" he immediately slides his feet apart, and he'll push both arms out in the back if we say "wings!" he discovered these last few gestures, we simply named them.

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