Even though I’m the person who best understands Jojo’s toddler babble, there are times that I don’t get what she’s saying. And when that happens, she is persistent in getting her message across. Sometimes she will take you by the hand and show you what she’s talking about, sometimes she draws a word out and tries a different or more deliberate pronunciation, and sometimes she’ll use similar words to give you a hint. It’s so fascinating to see such a small person already using so many tools to communicate.
For example, during our family vacation to Block Island last week, I climbed in next to her in the back seat of the car which put a big grin on her face because I’m always up front, and here I was about to sit next to her in back! “Mama adada” she exclaimed sweetly to me. But I didn’t know what adada was and had her repeat it 3 times before giving up and telling her I didn’t understand her. So she tried a different way, “mama sientate (Mama, sit down)” and I answered “Si mama esta sentada a tu lado (yes, mama is seated next to you)” and as I said it I realized she was saying mama sentada. So I smiled big and echoed back to her “mama esta sentada (mama is seated)!”
She was happy and relieved that I got it and I was so proud of her for knowing how to express that I was seated next to her and also knowing how to give me hints about what she was trying to say.
Her memory is much better now (or maybe she’s just able to tell me that she remembers things). I can see the day approaching where I ask her what she did in school that day and she’s able to tell me. Block Island has a great library with an adorable kid’s section and one of the days we were there she fell and bumped her head while she was with he uncle Sam. We got ice from a restaurant next door and had her hold it over her ‘boo boo.’ Four days after the fall, when we were driving back to the airport she asked for a piece of ice. I got one out of Sarah’s empty ice coffee cup and wrapped it in a napkin for her. “Hielo (Ice)” she said, “Sam” she said “’teca” for biblioteca (library) and then she said, “boo hoo Jojo.” She was remembering that at the Block Island library, when she was with Sam she had fallen and hit her head and then we got ice for her.
And she was using her words to tell us about it.