Monday, April 5, 2010

256 Words

            On my way home from work I was talking to Michelle on the phone, and she said, “I bet Celia will have three-hundred words by the time she’s two.”
            “No way!” I shook my head. “She’s already got that many and she’s only one-and-a-half!”
            “You think she has three hundred words?”
            “Let’s see… there’s ‘bunny,’ ‘more,’ ‘bath’…”
            “You’re not really going to write these all down, are you?”
            Michelle ignored me and continued. I shook my head and called her ridiculous. But by the time I got home she’d already written down over a hundred, and somehow the project grabbed me. I sat on the couch and threw out a few more, “Elbow! Ankle! Toe!”
            We wrote down another fifty, then I said, “Alright. Time for my run.” I strapped Celia into the stroller, and took mental notes all the way to the park, every word she added to the list, “Gate… House… Bike… Bus…”
            By the time we were home the list had topped two-hundred. By the time I’d given Celia a bath and read her some bedtime stories, the list was approaching two-fifty. Michelle and I took five more minutes and threw out another spattering of words, “Owl… Bat… Yak… Frog… Cow…”
            At the end of the day, we’d listed two-hundred-fifty-six words. I’m sure she’s got another forty-four in her, to make the three hundred. For now, we’ll leave it at two-fifty-six and count our blessings. That’s a lot of communication. She knows about as much English as I know of French. Only she’s learning a dozen new words a day. Can’t say I’m doing that with French.

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