If you had asked me two weeks ago, I would have told you to talk to the hand. I was feeling rather down about Max and his speaking skills. In the past month, I've been away for work for 2 days at 2 different times. When I got back from the my first trip, it was like Max had forgotten how to speak English. So I told myself to chill, relax and all the other things I don't know how to do.
But then, over the past two weeks, Max has made a huge jump, both figuratively and literally since he now realy knows how to jump. Suddenly, there was a click in both physical and verbal skills.
So when I got back from my second business trip, I was pleased to see that he remembered how to speak English. When I picked him up from the crèche last Friday, the director said ,"Max commence à très bien parler. On comprend tous ce qu'il dit." (Max is starting to speak well. We understand everything he says). She asked if it was the same in English to which I replied no, but it's coming a long. Some examples of Max's progress are:
- he said "P come" when I picked him and the neighbor's kids up the other day
- he says to us "come see" when he wants us
- he is beginning to use verbs in the present progressive form like reading, crying, eating, sleeping, etc. He especially likes to tell me when someone is crying espeically, "Suzanne crying".
- he is stringing nouns and verbs together, often in franglais but who cares
- he has begin some real code switching like saying "de l'eau" to his father and "water" to me.
- He has begun creating words like waleau, dada (to sit on a lap), shoeshoe (which is a mix of shoe and chaussure).
- he self corrects when he speaks to me in French, upon being prompted.
- he repeats instructions such as "careful of the pit" when eating a cherries
- he is beginning to recognize colors, which the crèche tells me is usually not until about 3 years old. We started on colors early because of the high risk of Max being colorblind.
Much of this is thanks to Suzanne. When it's the three of us, I hear her speaking to him in English. I can also hear Max mimicking his big sister when he says things like "puhleeeezeeee" when he really wants something.
And since Max is finally, albeit obsessively, into books, they are my second best English ally at the moment (the first being Suzanne). He is obsessively reading Baby Bear, Baby Bear What do you See by Eric Carle. And although it is quite redundant after you've read it a dozen times in a single day, it is helping Max pick out words and colors. Luckily he is also willing to allow Polar Bear Polar Bear and Brown Bear Brown Bear into the rotation. It's interesting how obsessive he is about his things and how decided he is about what he wants. He is obsessed with the "Happy" episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, which to our dismay, is his favorite show (for anyone who doesn't know Yo Gabba Gabba, it's kind of like Sesame Street on LSD).
Max is also an extremely decisive little person. He never flipflops or takes time to make up his mind. If you ask what he wants to drink, he answers instantly and then repeats it until he has it in his hand. This leads to a lot of tantrums since you can't always get what you want, in the immortal words of the YoGabblerz and the Rolling Stones before them.
But, I stick by my theory whole heartedly that OPOL is the way to go.
Here is a video of Max reading Baby bear to himself. You can hear him saying, "Mommy bear Mommy bear what do you see?", "Mountain goat what do you see?" and "digging" when he looks at the praire dog. At the very end, when he hears the sound of skype, he says "Melie" my sister in California: