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affirmative variation

Zion in the darkish bedroom looking at the camera

as he is now

For quite a while after he started talking, Zion didn't say "yes". Not that he only said no to everything, but when he wanted to express his assent he'd invariably use "ah" instead. Or maybe I should render in "ahn"; it's pretty nasal, like the first syllable of "uh-huh". We got used to it pretty quickly; the only problem was how hard it proved to be to distinguish a teary overwhelmed "ah" from any of the other "ahhhh"s involved in his expressions of violent unhappiness. But he cries less now than he once did (and isn't very good at faking it yet), and also has improved in his diction. For a few days his affirmative of chose was "wah", but he's been working on his consonants and now can produce a very convincing "yeah". It's a big milestone!

Speaking of consonants, I seem never to have mentioned in these pages how he tends to pronounce "s" as /w/. When it's in a cluster he leaves it out altogether, of course, so "stop" sounds like /top/ and "spit" like /pit/, but in isolation it comes out entirely w-like. "Wofa" and "wailboat" and, my personal favorite, "woop!" for soup. But even that will soon be a thing of the past; today, playing with his felt Simon the Zealot toy figure (featured—and explained—in this post), he couldn't remember his "wolder's" name (Simon has a sword and shield). When I reminded him, he said, "yeah, Simon the Wolder." 50% accuracy! (on that one phoneme, that is; I won't vouch for the precise accuracy of his /th/ or /l/).

Also somewhat language related, but on a much higher level, he's finally recognized my existence as a caregiver. The other day he was playing by himself and had some difficulty with a toy. "Dada!" he called. "Mama! Dada or Mama!" Be still, my heart.

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