As soon as I've noticed something amazingly, ridiculously hilarious and adorable that Ila does...she stops. For instance, she loves to peel the papery outer-layer off onions and garlic. (This in itself is not particularly adorable. It's funny until you find little bits of onion paper and little cloves of garlic all over the house.) So, garlic has become a favorite object and worthy of being called by a name, as opposed to the many objects that are still simply pointed at. The way Ila says “garlic” is quite adorable. “Gark,” rhyming with “park” with a full, hard k and a little guttural all around, like a bark. Next to “ock” for “sock” or “wing” for “swing” it was my favorite Ila word...but now it's sounding more like “garik.” I guess I should cheer her development, but I sort of want her to keep saying ridiculous things like “boo-ie” for booby (a favorite word and object) or “pi-coh” for pine cone. Or “pa-co-ine” for pop corn. So fun. On the other hand, a 10 year old who speaks like a 2 year old is not really so cute, but it's hard to remember that when Ila is babbling away in her half-speak.
She is babbling away now, though she is a bit reticent about talking around other people. It's interesting because she's not really that shy, except with language. But at home, she's saying more and more. In fact, we've gotten to the stage where she'll say a string of words, and I can only nod and smile because I understood maybe two things. She speaks with great zest and enthusiasm...just not with great pronunciation. What's interesting is that, in the last week or so, she says a bunch of words together...but not necessarily as a sentence, per se. She doesn't really have syntax yet. So, she might say, “pine cone ball slide boom uh oh” all in a row, but really they are just individual exclamations. I'm excited to get to the subject verb, simple sentence phase. Though, she does use the imperative. “Walk!” is a common command issued when she wants us to come look at something, take her outside, pick her up and take her somewhere. It's a sort of cover-all for her wants and needs.
Along with all her new language, her affection is probably the most fetching thing about her. I cannot express how much I love the little kisses she freely proffers in the mornings when she just wakes up. She also likes to lie in bed for a while, snuggling. She nestles in so that I’m spooning her...and it is indescribably lovely. Yesterday, she said, “Mommie,” to Kiyomi and then, when Kiyomi turned to her, Ila kissed her three times...just because she wanted to. So sweet. I get it, this baby thing. It's pretty amazing.
Then, there are the times that I want to ram my head against the wall because she won't go to sleep or she wants something we've just taken away, and she's hollering and head banging. Or, she is shrieking, “up-pee” (up, please) at the top of her lungs while my hands are completely full. Actually, to be fair, Ila doesn't really scream and wail too much...but she is starting to have real memories of objects around her. We used to just holler and point at some imaginary attraction in the distance so that we could slip an offending object out of her grasp. She would fall for it, maybe whimper a little but was easily distracted. Now, she knows. She wants whatever it was. She can guess with skill where we slipped it, and she'll employ all forms of bellowing and hollering to inform us that we should return it. And, if it's a food treat, she employs her oft used “moh” (with a raised tone at the end, like a question) for “more.”
She also seems to be developing a particularly slap-stick centered sense of humor. Yesterday, I made ridiculous faces while shaking my head around. Uproariously, apparently. This morning, while Kiyomi was dancing around with Ila, she pretended to run into the wall. Hilarious. And it was just as funny the sixth time. I imagine this is a totally normal stage of cognitive development...but it feels so unique and world-altering to see an actual sense of humor developing...it's like she's turning into a real human!