2, 2001 - Wednesday
Harry's mother has been showing him a picture of her father for the last couple of days in anticipation of his arrival today, trying to remind Harry about the Grampa. And, it seem to pay off: either that or Harry's just brilliant. Within minutes of Grampa coming in the house, Harry, without prompting was saying "Boppa."
Actually, when Grampa and his lady friend Judy first came in Harry was a bit shy, smiling but withdrawing slightly to the comfort of his parents' shoulders and thighs. His first utterance of "Boppa" actually came when I, holding him in my arms, walked out into the back hall to close the door following their entrance. There, in the privacy of separation and perhaps consciously wanting to either test his voice or make sure he had the right name, Harry said "Boppa." I went right back in the kitchen boasting that Harry remembered, but he wouldn't duplicate the word right away. Perhaps, working it through his mind a little more, or perhaps just waiting for the time to be right, Harry found a spot over the following minutes when Grampa was there but not talking and again, more forcefully this time, said "Boppa." The reaction all around was predictable delight.
I actually picked Grampa and Judy up at the airport while Harry and his mother ate an early dinner at home and had a interesting conversation with Grampa regarding toddler word pronunciation. As I was noting the number of words Harry has learned since Grampa's last visit in December, and how few Grampa might actually recognize straight away, we mused about whether young speakers can't quite make the proper sounds for words with their mouths, or whether they can't quite hear that they're not exactly duplicating the right sounds. Harry's "book" for milk, "zeesee" for horsey, and "bee' for plane where clear examples. We didn't solve any science mysteries, but for our own purposes we found ourselves leaning toward the latter. Since Harry knows "m" for mama, "i" from bricky, along with K, it seems he should probably be able to say milk. Grampa also remembered a time when Harry's mother at a young age once talked about seeing "churchles." He said "you mean turtles? She said "that's what I said: churchles." Language is a complicated thing. Harry's doing great.