One’s surroundings help to shape who they become–truth. Adults change things about their lives all the time to create better connections, make a healthier lifestyle, and to find happiness in dark times. I love seeing how these changes play out and the wonderful outcomes that come from them. When I look at children, this process looks different. Their surroundings are based on how the adults around them integrate life skills, technologies and friendships. So, two kids only a few weeks apart in age, can have two completely different skill sets. This was the case on one Friday and the outcome of a morning at the water table was one that made me rethink some of #theadventuresofsj surroundings.
On this particular Friday morning, I was watching G while his parents packed boxes to move. Our morning started out with the normal reacclimation of having to share toys, attention and snacks. Thankfully this only lasted for five minutes before they fell into a lovely play session, including sharing and toddler blabber. All of a sudden, #theadventuresofsj scooped up a solo cup of water, thoughtfully jostled it around, and intentionally dumps it onto the ground. As the water hit the ground, she screams, “SPLATTER!” This exclamation of excitement startled both G and myself. This sequence happened again and again. G then got into the action, squealing with glee as each cup of water hit the ground. After a few minutes, it clicked in my head where this new vocabulary word came from…Sesame Street! One of the first episodes of Sesame Street that she watched during a long layover in the Atlanta airport was the episode that had a great explanation of splatter. She only watched this episode twice, other than one paint scene, she had minimal interest. Mind you, this happened back in December…we’re in April now. This three minute sequence of explanation stuck in her head for months just waiting for an opportunity to pop out. When she took a break for a water table refill, I asked her, “who made splatter?” and she responded with a smile and said, “Elmo!” This confirmed my suspicion and made me think about all of the other words she had been saying that my husband and I weren’t sure about.
Looking at the situation, I think about how different kids are based on their exposure to things. #theadventuresofsj gets to watch Sesame Street in the mornings while I’m getting ready for the day. From this activity, she has been introduced to a variety of terms, phrases and actions that she probably wouldn’t have had. She brings these with her everywhere. When she’s with friends, she’s exposed to their mannerisms and will often come home with them. For instance, G called his pacifier a “ca-ca”. For the rest of that Friday, she walked around requesting a ca-ca. In turn, he walked around calling his pacifier a wa-wa (which is what #theadventuresofsj calls it). It also reminds me that I need to watch my mouth and mannerisms. I am one to use certain terms and hand gestures frequently-terms and gestures that toddlers don’t need to know. That being said, none of my finer moments have popped out of her mouth…secretly can’t wait for one to so that I can hold my laughs back 😊. Share your toddler vocabulary moments in the comments below!