Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Secret Language of Toddlers

Iyla Grace adds new words to her vocabulary on an almost daily basis. She has an interesting mix of clearly decipherable words (Mama, up, Lily), less decipherable sounds & partial words ('Da' for Papa, baba for bottle, yayaya for video, and a 'shroom' sound for down), mixed in with some sign language (milk, more, book).

Her favorite new words right now are knee & butt (said VERY clearly), and bellybutton ('baba,' said as she flashes her belly for all to see). She is really into knowing and naming body parts!

Iyla has a desire to identify those people she knows and loves. Her 9 year old friend Lily was a quick study- and now on a daily basis she will look me in the eyes and articulate "LI-LY." Her Mimi (my mom) is another she talks about all the time; she knows and loves my dad equally so, but has trouble saying "Grampy," so that comes out as an undecipherable mumble of sounds.

Two of her favorite things: Lily, and identifying facial features ('where is Lily's mouth?')

I noticed 2 months ago that Iyla started saying "galuck galuck" a lot throughout the day. I thought she was just experimenting with new sounds, and as I usually do when I don't directly understand her, would just repeat 'galuck galuck' back to her.

Meanwhile, I'd been wondering what she will choose to call her beloved nanny Veronica, who has a difficult name to pronounce for a toddler! I've heard Veronica working with Iyla on maybe saying "Ca" for her.

Then yesterday Iyla went to the window next to the front door and said "galuck galuck." This is the window she watches from as Veronica comes and goes. It hit me like a lightening bolt- she already HAD a name for her sweet nanny, we'd just never connected the dots! It was confirmed this morning when Iyla was playing and I asked her to say Veronica. She replied immediately with "Galuck Galuck."

"It stands for Veronica! Geez. You adults are so slow."

I felt badly I hadn't figured that out sooner! It is evident that Iyla understands SO much more than she is able to communicate, as shown by being able to fetch a bib, her water, or a particular toy on command. It is my job as her Mama to try to decipher this secret language while also working to reinforce the words she already says clearly.

Finding her pacis upon request

She has started asking to wear her Halloween costume by bringing it to me and saying "bee, bee!" while holding it up to her head. So cute, and VERY clear!

I'm looking forward to Iyla's continued language development. It will be so much fun when she can clearly communicate her thoughts & feelings about things, further revealing her talents, desires, fears, humor, & personality. What an exciting time this is!


  1. She's so smart! And darling as always! Where do you get her hair ties? Baby gap? I need bands that Everleigh can't swallow, and I haven't been able to find any. Looks like Iyla has a little more hair, but really about the same. I'd love to do fun styles like this!

    1. Thanks Lanie! Those hair clips are my favorite things EVER. They hold fine hair so well. Here is the link to the Etsy store where I get them- I now have all 3 pattern options they offer. Love!