Language switch

Chloe is, at her 2 years and 5 months, almost perfectly bilingual – there are some words that she mixes up but mostly out of laziness (and some that mpampá makes up too!).

I would say her first language is English, since that’s the one she uses when talking to herself, or babies and pets! But probably her Spanish is more advanced – definitely her grammar is.

The latest thing I’ve noticed though, is a context switch between the languages!!

She will be playing with her babies, speaking English, and talking in the first/second person: “Come here baby, I’m making some food you don’t cry”, and suddenly she’ll switch to Spanish because I’m around, but uses the third person! “The mami is going to Tesco’s and the baby is sleeping”

So I’ve decided to call them the pretend language and the narrating language 😁

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Space


Today I had the amazing task of explaining a two (and four months) year old what this picture represents.

Thankfully we have been exploring a globe so she can see where Spain, Greece and England are, so it was a step forward from that!

I showed her what a plane would do, and then explained that rockets can actually leave the Earth and go toward the stars and moon – hopefully she’s not too confused!

Empathy / Empatía

We were looking at this book for the umpteenth time today, and Chloe noticed something she had never done before.

Our conversation went like this:

– what are they doing?

– they’re running (that’s what’s happening at that point)

– no, what’s the boy holding?

– ah, that’s called a ribbon.

– the girl doesn’t like it.

And that’s how I learned that she can read facial expressions in simple drawings and possibly even put herself in someone’s shoes?

Hoy estábamos leyendo este cuento por enésima vez, cuando a Chloe le llamó la atención algo que nunca había notado.

Esta fue nuestra conversación:

– ¿Qué están haciendo?

– están corriendo

– No, ¿qué está cogiendo el niño?

– Ah, eso es un lazo.

– No le gusta a la niña.

Y así de simple ha sido darme cuenta de que entiende las expresiones faciales simplificadas de los cuentos, e incluso puede que sea capaz de ponerse en el lugar de otro!

Kuoui

Chloe has recently had a “sound leap”, and the result is that she can now make some new sounds in her speech.

For example, she’s never really been able to say two consonants together – perfectly exemplified by the time she kept saying “I bake it, I bake it” and it turned out she was breaking it!!

But the nicest is her own name, that has evolved from Koi into Kuoui. Almost there!

Chloe acaba de dar un “salto fonético”, y de repente tiene sonidos nuevos al hablar.

Nunca ha podido pronunciar dos consonantes juntas – por ejemplo diciendo “baso” en vez de brazo, y ahora le sale “buaso”. El sonido “z” no lo saben hacer todavía 🙂

Lo mas gracioso es que su nombre ha pasado de ser Koi a Kuoui – ¡casi!

Schemas

Children go through so called schemas in their play. Basically they are various representations of the same concept, to master it physically before understanding it intellectually.

Some common ones are:

  • Trajectory: dropping items or oneself from up high.
  • Positioning: grouping or lining items. (Herr current one, look at the pictures!).
  • Enveloping: covering objects or oneself, wrapping, placing stuff in containers.
  • Rotating: spinning items or oneself, running in circles. (We’ve had a lot of this one!).
  • Enclosing: adding boundaries to areas or borders to pictures.
  • Transporting: moving objects from place to place, also in containers or bags. (At home we call this “having a picnic” as that’s her alleged reason for transporting toys!).
  • Connecting (and disconnecting): train tracks, blocks, and also taping or gluing.
  • Transforming: exploring the states of matter such as solid to liquid and back again.
  • Orienteering: positioning objects or oneself in different positions or angles such as upside down or sideways. (We certainly see a lot of downward dog around here! And how about the bottom picture with all the toys facing down?).

What schema is your little one following at the moment?

Teething / La Boca


A conversation we had today at baby massage has reminded me that I’ve never posted anything about teething!

Maybe I never was around babies much, or maybe the ones I did meet had laid-back parents, but from Spain I didn’t grow up with the idea that teething is something terrible and that it causes a myriad of nasty symptoms. So it was indeed a shock to see that in the UK, pretty much anything a baby does is blamed on teething!

Anything from drooling (the salivary glands starting to overproduce, in preparation for solids), to taking hands/toys to their mouth (that’s how they explore the world), to nappy rash, fever, bad sleep, crankiness.. you name it, it’s the teeth’s fault!

So it actually made me laugh when I found an old medical article (say 100 years old?) in which the leading cause of infant death was.. you guessed right! Teething 😬

As much as I’ve looked around, I haven’t found a single study that shows reliably any symptoms related to teething. Some show a couple of symptoms that happen just the day before a tooth comes through (and warns you that any fever should be evaluated, as it’s definitely not caused by teething).

To be fair, I don’t see a problem with blaming things, as long as you still allow your baby to chew on stuff, and as long as you don’t medicate unnecessarily (a pet peeve of mine if you wish).

In Chloe’s case, this is what I’ve noticed: for most teeth, nothing at all. Including having four molars out overnight with me having no idea. And for the four bottom incisors, which are really crammed and wonky, she had one-sided runny nose (see picture) and one night with slightly disturbed sleep.

Life Cycles / Ciclos de Vida

This year I wanted to introduce the concept of “growth” to Chloe. We bought a blue hyacinth about to bloom and within a few days the thing had grown like mad!

So she understood what it means, and she will tell you about how she used to be a baby and now she’s​ grown and all that.

Then I thought of taking it one step further, so we got some sunflower seeds and we planted them. For some reason, out of the 20-25 only 5 came out, and further to that one died when babá was left in charge of watering the plants while we were on a trip!

Today the moment had come to repot them into bigger pots so they can stretch their legs and hopefully grow to be as tall as me 😉

Eventually we will have flowers and will see how they become full of seeds too, completing the cycle. It may have taken a bit long for her to follow but I’ve been documenting with pictures and we will definitely do it again!

Next one on the list is her birthday gift from me: butterflies!

Este año quise introducirle el concepto de “crecer”, así que nos hicimos con un jacinto azul a punto de florecer, ¡y en unos días el bicho había crecido dos cuartas!

Con esto le quedó claro lo que significa, y a veces te cuenta que ella antes era un bebé y ahora ha crecido, y cosas así.

Para complicarle un poco más la cosa, compramos unas semillas de girasol y las plantamos. De las 20-25 solo germinaron 5, y para rematarlo ¡una se secó cuando babá se quedó encargado de regar mientras estábamos de viaje!

Hoy ha llegado la hora de transplantarlas para que estiren las piernas y con suerte acaben más altas que yo 😉

En algún momento saldrán las flores, y de ellas las semillas, completando el ciclo. Está quizás tardando demasiado para que ella siga todo el proceso, pero hemos ido haciendo fotos, ¡y lo volveremos a hacer!

Lo siguiente en la lista es mi regalo de cumple: ¡mariposas!