Friday, August 22, 2008

Not to be Outdone

Tyler is talking. Quite a bit.

In the shadow of the focused struggle to get his brother to talk, Tyler has just casually picked up words along the way, accumulating a list, so that he now has 30+ words that he uses with great ease.

Way to go, Tyler. We're listening.

Tucker has greater and greater confidence in his ability to communicate, so he appointed himself as Tyler's personal tutor in language acquisition. About once a day, Tuck decides on a word he will teach to Tyler. If Ty is in the mood, he'll play along and learn the word. If not, he'll irritate the pants of Tucker by saying anything else or nothing at all.

(It's hard to know how much of that is intentional irritation, but he sure knows how to push Tucker's buttons. I suspect that's not the last we'll see of these interactions.)

As we rode in the car one day last week, Tucker was excited to go see Grandma. They can each say her name; Tuck calls her Namma, and Tyler calls her Amma. The point is: Tyler knows how to say her name.

But as they sat in their adjacent carseats, Tuck decided to claim today as his opportunity to teach his brother to say this very important word.

T: "Tyler. Namma."

t: "Beet."

T: "No. Namma."

t: "Beet."

T: "NO!! Namma!"

t: "Beet."

This continued for many miles. I suspect Tyler knew just what he was doing.

A few days later, they resumed this same conversation. Only this time, Tyler was in the mood to cooperate.

T: "Tyler, Namma."

t: "Amma!"

T: "Yes!! Yes, Tyler! Namma!"

Tucker felt very victorious. And I am pretty sure Tyler did too.

Sneaky. And perhaps manipulative. But little brothers have to hold on to power when they can find it. I believe Tyler is learning how to play his cards.

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