Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Amy's language development

The other day, Stella asked me whether Amy had ever said "Tschüs, Pipimann" to me. Apparently, that's what S says when she changes E's nappy.

Upon hearing that, Amy said "Tschüs, Pipimann". Stella asked her whether she had a "Pipimann" and Amy said, "Yeah". Stella said, "No, you don't. E does, but Amy doesn't."

Apparently, she now wanted to figure out how has a "Pipimann" and who doesn't. She asked whether Stella had one and I said, no, Mummy and Amy are girls, they don't have penises. Boys have penises. Upon which Amy asked whether Daddy had a "Pipimann" and I said, yes, Daddy has a penis.

Stella said that reminded her of an incident with a boy she knew back in Kiel, who at one point asked, in public, whether snakes have penises.

And that made me think about what words to use. So far, I've used clinical terms for anatomy when talking to Amy, but if she's going to talk about people's (and animals') private parts in public, I somehow think that childish euphemisms would be less embarrassing than "grown-up" words.

In an unrelated note, I wonder whether Amy's starting to get more of a hold of grammar.

While I was eating supper, Amy pulled a foot out from under the table, put it on the table, and said, "Amy foot." Yes, that was Amy's foot. Then she put the foot back down, pulled out the other foot, and said, "Noch'n foot." Yes, that's Amy's other foot. Then she said, "Two feet". I was surprised, and praised her.

So far, she's occasionally said "feet" and sometimes "foot" but I think she never really understood when to use which word... she probably just accepted that Daddy sometimes used one word and sometimes the other.

I'm not sure whether she thinks that "feet" always belongs with "two" (and only with that number), but at any rate, I thought it was impressive that in each of her three sentences, she used the correct form of the word.

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