Things My Mother Said
One Hip Dude

Grandchildren: Words and Cooking

The vocabularies of both my grandchildren continue to grow apace. My grandson, for example, has discovered the word optional, and applies it frequently and accurately to many of the things around him―at least in his opinion.

My toddler granddaughter served as her dad’s sous chef this week as he prepared food. He role was limited, but she pitched in and the dish turned out fine. If you say “Roar,” my 18-month-old granddaughter points at her stuffed lion. If she sees a picture of a lion (or even a tiger) she roars and points.


Robert E. Malchman

Watching little ones acquire language and seeing/hearing them communicate is almost magical. For Nathan, "cah" meant anything that moved (including cars and cats), though he would specify "air cah" when he pointed to airplanes (we are on one of the landing paths to LaGuardia, so it came up regularly).

His other big word was "diggah," which meant either "look at that" or "I want that," accompanied by pointing. I really wanted to take him to the Impressionist wing of the Met, and when he'd point and say, "Diggah!" I'd say, "No! That's Monet, not Degas! How are you ever going to get into Dalton if you don't know your Impressionists?" Never got around to doing it, though.

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