Monday, 13 August 2012

....and the words continue to flow

Poppette is busy building her word arsenal.

What has really amazed me lately is her ability to absorb new words so quickly. I am not exaggerating when I say that she only needs to hear a word once in context to pick it up, store it and repeat it unprompted at a later moment in time.

This is happening in both English and French but I plan to focus on the French for this post.

Two examples of this rapid absorbtion of vocab come from last week.

One day we were playing with pompoms. Poppette picked one up and, as she squeezed it, I told her that it was 'doux'  [soft]. The next day, when were were playing with her pompoms again, Poppette picked one up and squeezed it and said 'doux' and then, as if to dispel any uncertainty I might have had as to whether she actually knew what 'doux' meant, she also told me, whilst feeling her soft quilted playmat, that that was also 'doux'.

Another great example comes from just this weekend. Poppette and I were sat on my bed playing with Little Man and I told her that she and I are "des filles" [girls] and that Papa and Little Man are "des garçons" [boys]. The next day we were all sat around playing in the lounge and Poppette suddenly pointed to Little Man and said "garçon" (and with beautiful pronunciation to boot). I honestly couldn't believe it....

Continuing this theme, when Poppette got home from nursery one night last week, she ran straight into the kitchen, looked on her dinner plate and said 'couscous'! I almost didn't believe my ears...she's only had it twice before in her life....OK, so I am her Maman and, of course, am bound to think she's wonderful, brilliant, talented etc but, seriously, I really do think she has an extremely good memory for a 21.5 month old.

We have also been doing lots of counting lately. Thanks to the "L'ours dans un carré" [Bear in a square] book that I spoke about in a previous post, Papa and I both do plenty of counting everyday. The Bear books are Poppette's firm favourites and she is rarely more than a few feet away from them at any point these days!!! I digress.... I am supposed to be telling you about how Poppette is memorising and independently citing strings of numbers. Again, it's one of those things that you almost don't believe the first time you hear it. She can often be heard proclaiming 'deux, quatre, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix' [2,4,6,7,8,9,10] when stuffing her pompoms into a jar. I'm not sure where un, trois and cinq are hiding  :-) In English she tends to focus on 2,3,4.

When Papa collected her from nursery last week the nursery nurse told him that Poppette had been counting in French. She also said that she had been rummaging around in a box for a toy she wanted and, when she found it, she pulled it out triumphantly and proclaimed 'Voilà!' [here it is!].

Finally....onto Poppette's current most used word of the moment -' même' [the same]. As she absorbs the world around her she likes to categorise. So whenever she sees another version of something she has seen before she will tell you that its "même". So the owls in her nature book are the same as those on the canvas in her bedroom, the toothbrush Maman is using is the same as Poppette's toothbrush, the earthworm in her picture dictionary is the same as the one peeping out of the soil in one of her bear books....

Watching Poppette learn and grow really has taught me that, although young in years, toddlers are far wiser and comprehending than I would have ever thought possible.

Being around children really does help you to notice those things in life that you had stopped noticing...they add a touch of sparkle to the world.


  1. It is such a special time when they start speaking. When you mentioned 'même' it reminds me that Pan-Pan uses a mixture of that and 'same', so he always says 'It's exactly the mame'! I've tried to untangle this franglais a few times, but he's sticking to it for now.