31 October 2007

Ginging and Dawbabies

Olivia's language is exploding and it's amazing to witness. The best part about it is that her words are so particular to her. What words she chooses to say and to repeat, and the way she says them--and in some cases, even making up words all together. We can see her personality beginning to take shape. Below is a sampling of some of Olivia's current vocabulary:

GING-GING (Noun) To climb on someone who is laying down (almost always mommy or daddy) and bounce on them. Usually Ginginging commences when the person to be climbed and bounced upon is already laying down, but it is sometimes initiated when said person is in a sitting position.

This word seemed to come out of nowhere. One evening Olivia just climbed on Liz's back and said, very enthusiastically, "Ginging, Ginging" as she bounced on her and laughed. We think that it is somewhat related to the English word Game.

DAW-BAY-BEE - Strawberry

Olivia first tasted Strawberries at her 1st Birthday party. They were given to her by Saman Yates. Although she liked them from the beginning, it wasn't until this summer that she began to really love them. Before that Blueberries, or "Blues" were her favorite fruits.

I-KEEM - Ice Cream

I fear I may have passed my addiction to ice cream on to my first-born. It was the first solid food that she actually was willing to eat out of a spoon. I gave it to her kind of as a test, because she would automatically refuse anything we put in front of her. Turns out she was just being selective. And who can blame her? Have you ever tried that infant rice cereal? Not good.
But the more amazing thing is that she can recognize ice cream in diverse forms. As far as we know, the first time she saw a soft serve cone was the other night when Liz and I broke down
(morally, not emotionally) and went through the McDonald's drive-through. Olivia had been silent for the past few minutes, but just as Liz passed me my vanilla cone I heard this tiny voice from the back of the car say "I-KEEM. PEE."

PEE - Please

I'm very glad that Olivia has already incorporated a polite word into her vocabulary. And she really uses it a lot, which is great. What's not so great is that when she does use it, it's ridiculously sweet and I pretty much have to comply with her wish. She really went to town on that McDonald's ice cream cone, although I did manage to salvage some for myself. When she says "PEE" she almost always brushes her hand vertically along her chest--unless she really wants something. Then she does it with two hands. This is a carry over from sign language.


Not to be confused with "PEE", "PEE-PEE" is almost always followed by:

NO -
a) No b) I don't want to c) I will not d) I don't like that e) I am not happy right now

This is her most used word the last few months, by far. Here's how the conversation usually goes:

OLIVIA: (quietly) pee-pee

PARENT: Does baby have to go pee-pee?

OLIVIA: pee-pee

PARENT: (excitedly) Olivia, do you need to use the potty?


PARENT: Yeah, we pee-pee on the potty! Come on baby, let's go sit on the potty!


EH-PANE - Airplane

One of Olivia's favorite inventions is the airplane. To make the sign for airplane, you extend your index and pinky fingers while tucking in your middle finger, ring finger and thumb, and hold (or glide) your hand parallel to the ground. Olivia's version of the sign, however, is a bit different. Instead of tucking her fingers in, she crosses her middle finger over her ring finger, essentially making a horizontal WEST SIDE sign. I don't know how or why she came up with that particular interpretation, but she stuck with it until very recently. Now she gets so excited about airplanes that she just waves her arms around while she says the word.

NAH-NEE - Olivia's four year old cousin, Nasir.

Olivia really loves Nasir. She talks about him a lot when he is gone and gets very excited when she sees his picture, or hears that we are going to visit him, etc. In one of her favorite books (which is all about airplanes) she decided that one of the many tiny, featureless people was Nasir. Well, I guess I shouldn't say "featurless". This person has big, black curly hair and brown skin like Nasir does, and so I think that is how it came to be. We would read through the book and at that page Olivia would point to the figure and say "GUH, GUH" (Which means cousin - this was Olivia's name for Nasir before NAH-NEE, which only came about in the last couple of weeks).

GO-GO - Any game or activity which is recognized by Olivia as an organized sport.

GO-GO-KEE-KEE - Kiki's Delivery Service

This film by Hayao Miyazaki is the only thing Olivia regularly watches on the TV. She's watched it from when she was only a few months old. I'm curious to know if she's picked up any Japanese.

OH-GAH-GAI-MEE - Usually the prayer by 'Abdu'l-Baha that begins "O God, guide me, protect me . . ." Sometimes it means the children's prayer book "O God Guide Me" which starts with that prayer.

One of the most wonderful things I've experienced as a parent thus far praying with Olivia. The other day we were reading the prayer book and after I began with "O God" she said "Gai meee, po-teh-meee" (Guide me, protect me) all on her own! She also is able to plug in words to many other prayers and Baha'i Writings, and it's just so wonderful to know that she is committing the Words of God to memory.

KAH - Caught

This is a hot new word that is getting quite a bit of use these days. It can mean slightly different things in different situations. The most common is if Olivia is actually caught underneath something or stuck in a tight space. It can also mean that something else (like one of her blocks) is "caught" in a container. And it could mean that something is stuck on her, a piece of restrictive clothing, the straps of her car seat, etc.

GAW-GEE - Doggie.

KEE-KOH - Olivia's favorite dog, Kiko, is a big, gentle Malmut belonging to our neighbor across the street.

KIN-KIN - Auntie Corinne

Though not a blood relative, Auntie Corinne has a special bond with Olivia. In fact, Olivia and Corinne share the same middle name, which is:


She says this really well, which is impressive, because it has an R before the M. She's working on her first name still, but this one is solid.

GA-BEE - Grabby, OR Grabbing

I'm still trying to figure this out, but she says it when she grabs something that Liz and/or I don't want her to grab. So I'm not sure if she's saying it because a) she is grabbing it b) she wants to grab it, but we aren't letting her c) she is accusing us of grabbing it or d) all of the above. She also used it once when her cousin Hassani (younger than her, but the same size) grabbed her and gouged her arm.

AAB-HAA - Abha

Abha is the last syllable of two sacred invocations commonly used by Baha'is: Allah'u'Abha (God is Most Glorious) and Ya Baha'u'l-Abha (O Glory of the All Glorious!). If I say, "Allah-u-" Olivia will continue: "Abha." She also recognizes the Greatest Name symbol and the Ringstone symbol and refers to both of those as "Abha". So exciting!

PAH-KEH - Pocket

For Olivia, this doesn't necessairly have to be an actual pocket built into the clothing. As long as she can plunge her hand into a space in the clothing (such as through the top of my shirt) then it's a pocket. This word is always quickly followed by:

KOIN! - Coin!

When Olivia says "Coin!" she's really excited about it. She loves to put coins in things. (Like pockets, and the Chilean Temple Fund box).

And here are some other unique names for people that will probably change as her speech develops:

BEE-uh -
Her Aunt Bahiyyih
DOH-dah - Dena
GAN-GEE - Her Grandmother (Davis)
GA-MA-MA - Her Grandmother (Gordon)
kiM - Kim (hard to describe, but the vowel part is very short and the M is clipped as well. It's quite adorable)
sah-sah, too-MEH - Her cousin Hassani (Toothman is one of his nicknames)
- Amia

That's all for now.