Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What is D doing?

My little boy D went from saying very little to non-stop chatter. I've heard that happens a lot with boys. I posted a few weeks ago about his repeating absolutely everything... and basically telling me what he wanted me to say to him ("D eat your taters," "D sit down"). But last night I was keeping myself awake thinking about it... not because it was bothering me - I was just having trouble getting to sleep and thinking about odd things. You know how those nights are.

A few weeks ago we were having lunch with my mother and D was going on:
"Is D eating bananas?"
"Are you drinking apple juice D?"
and my mom thought it was pretty cute. I said that it comes in really handy when he's drawing pictures.
"Did you draw a monkey D?"
"Are you drawing a plane D?"
I don't have to worry about guessing what he's drawing. My mom mentioned that my brother's little girl (who is 2 mos younger than D) also refers to herself in the third person. I really hadn't thought of what he was doing in that way - I just assumed he was telling me what he wanted me to say to him, so I would just repeat him.

Last night I realized that at least part of the time he's just doing a run-down of what he's doing. "Is D dancing?"
"Is D shakin his booty?"
"Is D jumping on the comfy couch?"
And he probably talks about himself in the third person like that because I do that all day to him.
"Is mommy getting your lunch D?"
"Mom is cutting your nuggets and they have to cool,"
"Mom is going to go find your shoes," etc...
It seems only natural that he would pattern his speaking after those around him. Now I'm wondering if I should stop referring to myself in the third person and start using and emphasizing I phrases.

I do know a few things about linguistics and language development, so I know that some things are developmental issues and work themselves out as children develop their language skills. I assumed that this was just a developmental phase (like having issues with plurals). But I really don't remember reading anything specifically about children referring to themselves in the third person. I just hope I didn't make a big boo-boo ;) Anyone else have a toddler who refers to themselves in the third person like that?


Suzie said...

Suzie thinks he'll be fine. And Suzie is a Doctor.

Nut Nut said...

I never thought about that -- how moms and dads tend to talk in the third person about themselves when talking to her/his child.

I do that all the time. It's more because I'm trying to get him to understand I'm Momma and my husband is Dadda, even though I know he gets the difference between the two of us.

I think I'm going to start saying "I" instead now. Mateo is too young to refer to himself in any way, so I'm curious to see how that goes...

Very interesting post!

anymommy said...

Yep! Both my toddlers went through the third person stage. Then, they started to use pronouns, but incorrectly. Like: Mine do it mineself. They liked mine. Now, at almost three, they are using 'I' perfectly.

Very perceptive post! I hadn't thought about that progession this way until I read this.

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