Word Sponge

Originally uploaded by tzt.

Lately, Declan has been swabbing up new words and concepts like a syntactic barnacle suckered onto a chubby unabridged dictionary. He began to request “more” of everything, from avocado and blueberries to images of nebulae and planets in the opening sequence of “Star Trek: Voyager” reruns well before Christmas. (To this day, if I don’t capture video of intergalactic travel on the DVR for multiple replay, there can be hell to pay.)

Then, suddenly, he could no longer restrain himself from singing along with the lullabies he’d made me repeat several times a day. He chimes in a word at the end of each phrase, adding new ones as they make sense to him. When his Giga (his name for my mother) gave him a book called “That’s dangerous!” for Christmas, he happily mastered the three-syllable word, sing-songing “Mommy, mommy, DAN-GER-OUS” as he sashayed through the house. Whenever my husband watches taped David Letterman shows during the day, Declan runs up to the screen during the “Great Moments in Presidential Speeches,” and chimes in along with FDR’s “fear” and points his finger determinedly while saying “ASK NOT…” along with JFK.

Now, I’m amazed by his sudden ability to recognize and name shapes and colors as well as several letters and numbers. Yesterday, he wiggled around the bathtub with a foam orange 4 displayed proudly on his belly, chanting “number 4, number four,” before sticking it up into the faucet, so that it looks like we’ll be taking Dali-esque baths filled with numbers and letters in the future:


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