Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Little Brother M at 2.5

Okay, okay, it's more like 2.75. But he's not three yet!

M's speech has made lots of progress over the past year. As in, he does it now. As I wrote last year, he has been a late talker and enthusiastic signer.

He is in that awkward two-year-old stage where the family understands most of what he says and other people mostly don't. In his case it is partly complicated by the fact that he pulls from all three languages and that he leaves out or changes at least half of his consonants. For instance, we were watching a Slovak video and I pointed out a rabbit (in English), which he corrected: "No, ha-ha-hik." Králíček? (CZ) "NE, ha-ha-hik." Zajačik! (SK) But who could get that from hahahik on the first try??

That said, however, he is clearly a more balanced bilingual at this stage than his sister was (since we lived in UK at the time). His CZ/SK and English have developed more evenly, though English is still stronger. He has started preschool already (the same one where K went), which has certainly had an impact.

If you can get past the pronunciation barrier, he actually has quite a bit to say! I've noticed some relatively complex sentences and ideas coming from his direction, cogent arguments aimed at his sister, that sort of thing. Like when she was interfering with his Angry Birds game: "You no touch my Angry Birds. Me touch you Angry Birds? No. So you no touch mine either." An irrefutable argument.

And of course, while we're on Angry Birds, there's the oft-repeated question: "Why you so angry, Angry Birds? Don't be angry - be happy! See? (big smile)"

We've also been seeing the difference between an only child and a younger child in terms of learning - M has plenty of inspiration and opportunity to learn in a way K didn't have, because he is exposed to what she is learning, too. The main thing being the day he pointed to a letter and said A...and it was an A! He also knew M. K, of course, has been learning to read, so he was apparently paying attention.

After that he wanted to name all the letters in the title of every book we read, which is how he came to know his alphabet at two years old. He recognizes all four of our names when written down (plus Babka and Dedo I guess), but doesn't do anything like reading. He just knows the letter sounds. More sounds than he can pronounce, actually.

I theorize that he may actually learn to read before he is potty trained, because unfortunately there has not been much progress on that front this year.

Loves: dinosaurs, fish, animals in general, books. His big sister.

Maybe passion would be a better word. M is very, very, very enthusiastic about the things in the above list. We've taken him to the zoo, to a dinosaur bones exhibit, to the aquarium, even to the Pergamon (ancient history) museum, and he loved them all. He engages with things in his own way, on his own level, but clearly gets something out of the places we go.

He's very, very two at the moment, but he's still a lot of fun. And soon enough he will be very, very three...


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