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>"Goats" and Other Adventures in Language

May 28, 2011


About two months ago, we began giving Joy a DHA supplement in the form of purified strawberry flavored cod fish oil. It tastes only very mildly fish-flavored and she drinks it in her juice without complaint. The past four weeks we have seen an explosion in her expressive language.

For example, last weekend she was playing about ten feet away from me. She was talking to herself, mostly babbling, that resolved into this.”I wash hands.Water wash clean. Pizza. I eat pizza. Cheese pizza good. I eat ice cream. Mmmm. Ice cream good.”

I glanced at my watch and my first thought was that it was too early for lunch. Then I remembered her day had started an hour early.  So I asked, “Joy, are you telling me you are hungry? You want pizza for lunch?”

“I want pizza,” she answered.


This morning I announced we were going to the zoo. “Do you want to see the monkeys?” I asked Joy.

“Monkeys,” Joy echoed, then asked, “Chickens?”

“Yes,” I assured her. “We will go to the farm and see the chickens, too.”

In the zoo parking lot, as I was buckling her into her stroller, she said, “Go see tigers! Go see tigers!”
The tigers were sleeping in the grass, almost impossible to see. But we saw an Amur Leopard.
The Minnesota Zoo has some unusual animals, like these Tankin. The word “Tankin” is not in Joy’s vocabulary, so she substituted the very acceptable,”Goat!” (They look remarkably like the goats in “Three Billy Goats Gruff.”)
Joy saw plain old (well, young) goats, too.
Joy’s not the only one in love with language. Mercy and Hope are on a Dr. Seuss jag and the zoo was strewn with bronze statues of Dr. Seuss characters, like my favorite, the Lorax:
This morning, my husband observed, “I think I know what Joy wants to be when she grows up.”
“What?” I asked.
“Listen,” he said.
Joy was laying on her back in her playroom hawking, “Jeep for sale! Cheap! Jeep for sale! Cheap!”
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