Sunday, February 24, 2013

Conversations with Alice

Alice's language skills have really exploded these last few months, especially since I've been home on leave. I've heard that listening to two+ people converse is more beneficial to language development than just listening to one person speak, or simply speaking with one person, as is the norm when Alice is home alone with Jon. I think that listening to Jon and I, and to all of our visitors, must have given her language skills a big push. It's amazing to find out what she's paying attention to and absorbing, and to realize she's learned things we didn't know she knew. I love hearing her use a complex phrase or piece of grammar or turn of speech and wondering how and where she picked that up.

She's also started recognizing and pointing out the similarities in a pair of words. She'll say things like "Cat is the same as hat!" and "Microwave is the same as microphone!" So clever. The other day we were talking about raspberry tarts and later she was pretending to bake or eat a tart in her little kitchen and I heard her saying "Is it a tart or is it a heart? Is it a heart or is it a tart?" So Wonderland-y!

We've taught her to say "Excuse me," when people are talking, instead of just talking over them, but now she just shouts "Excuse me!" until we stop talking and pay attention to her. We're working on waiting until there's a pause in the conversation, and then saying "Excuse me" only once and waiting until it's your turn to speak. We'll get there eventually, I'm sure. She does say "please" and "thank you" quite regularly. When Jon makes (or picks up dinner), I remind her to say "thank you" to daddy for giving her dinner. Jon's parents were over recently and made us dinner. We were all hanging out while Jon's dad BBQd some chicken and Jon's mom whipped up some delicious side dishes. As we all sat down to eat, Alice said "Thank you for dinner, Jeff!" without any prompting. It was hilarious and adorable.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you that kids say the darndest things, but I want to start recording some of the choicest bits of conversation we have. Here's the first installment.

A: Pacifiers are kind of like nipples, and nipples are kind of like pacifiers!

A: If my harp comes out, I will play it for Marie (her stuffed kitty).
E: (confused) If your harp comes out? Where is your harp?
A: (pats her chest, over her heart) Right here.

Showing me and Marie where her "harp" is.


  1. Last night I went in her room at 3:something AM to tell her to stop talking and go back to sleep. She told me she was "telling the horse to stop licking me and my baby." Usually, I can connect her nonsense back to something that actually happened but this one, I have no idea.

  2. It really is amazing how their little minds are like sponges. The soak up everything... even the things you didn't mean for them to hear. I also love the mistaken pronunciation like Alice's "harp". A few have sounded like she was saying something inappropriate, which generates the "I'm sorry, what did you say?" Of course, at least so far, it's always been a different word than the potentially offensive one it sounded like. :) Now at 4½, she is quite verbal, and because I don't simplify my language she also uses some pretty fancy words for a 4½-year-old. Have a super week, guys!

    —Michael Schmid @

  3. Oh my goodness I love her talkings. And her pointings. I can't wait to have some more conversations.


I love to hear from you! Kind words only, please...