Monday, August 18, 2008

Owl and phone conversation

Daddy, Mama, Owl. The latest word added to Joris' verbal vocabulary is owl. Is that weird? It's not like he's had a particular fascination with owls before. Balls; absolutely. Bears; definitely. Books; for sure. Lion, tiger, gorilla, giraffe - as well as most of the barnyard animals - have all enjoyed more of Joris' interest than the obviously stuffed owl picture in one of his animal books.

Maybe it's because owl and uil (Dutch) sound similar enough - but then, why not say book, ball or bear, all of which are either identical or very similar in Dutch and English.

Maybe it's just circumstances. Joris and I met Christine (or auntie Chris as we mostly refer to her now) at the Woodland Park Zoo this morning (getting a membership was one of the best purchases ever!) and, by taking a wrong turn toward the Northern Trail where we were going to visit the bears and otters, we stumbled upon the birds of prey area where two hawks, a falcon and an owl were being shown. Joris immediately pointed to the owl and said "Awl" (a cross between the English and Dutch name).

"Did he just say owl?" I asked Christine.
"Sure sounded like it. Joris, what is that?"
"That's right. Owl. What does an owl do?
(Makes the bird 'sign' of flapping his arms)
"An owl is a bird, that's right. What is that?"
Later, over dinner, he repeated his new vocab word for his dad as well.

Joris must have hit a cognitive / verbal growth spurt because later today, after I had vented my frustration with the Sears automotive department to Jacob over the cell phone, Jacob asked me to put Joris on the phone (I envision grandma cringing; no cell phones ever for babies! Sorry grandma.). I heard Jacob say a couple of sentences to which Joris listened very intently and then excitedly responded "Da da DA da!" After that he threw in a few "ja"'s as well, in response to whatever Jacob was saying. It was the first time he ever responded to being talked to over the phone. Obviously, Jacob was absolutely delighted.

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