One of the most consistently amazing parts of being a parent is watching your child learn how to speak. When Annie said her first word, “Uh-oh” (an appropriate one in retrospect), I lost my mind.
“Heather! She’s talking! She said a word! OUR CHILD CAN SPEAK!!!”
I was so excited I almost lifted her in the air ala Simba from “The Lion King.” At that moment I couldn’t imagine it could get any more awesome or surreal than that, but it has, many times over, and what she said this week might be her most awesome bit of speaking yet.
Annie has understood for a while that everyone has a name, and can recite the names of her family members and friends. This week, however, she started to understand the concept of names on a deeper level, i.e. that you can have a formal name AND a nickname, or a first AND last name.
She demonstrated this understanding by telling me, “Dada, your name is Mike!” and then “Mama’s name is Heather!” She didn’t stop there though. She also started to refer to her grandparents as Bampa Kirk, Grandpa Tony, Grandma Linda, and Grandma Coffee (my mom’s name is Kathy… somehow Annie turned Kathy into coffee).
“Yeah, I like to talk. What of it?”
Annie was just getting warmed up though when it came to this two name stuff. On Monday she told Grandma Linda that her name was “Annabel Spohr.”
“Wow!” Linda said. “That’s right. ‘Spohr’ is your last name. It’s also your Daddy’s… Mike Spohr.”
Annie didn’t like this for some reason.
“No! Annabel Spohr!”
“Yes, Annie. ‘Spohr’ is your name, but it’s also your Daddy’s. Your Mommy’s too. Mommy’s name is Heather Spohr.”
NO! ANNABEL SPOHR!!!”
At that point Linda was like, “Oookay… Time to go play blocks.”
Later, I worked with Annie to help her understand that the “Spohr” name belonged not just to her but her Mommy and Daddy too. She finally got it and said, “Your name is Mike Spohr.”
“That’s right!” I said. “Good job!”
“Mama’s name is Heather Spohr.”
“OH MY GOD! YOU’RE A GENIUS! MY CHILD IS A GENIUS!”
“And Elmo’s name is Elmo Spohr.”
“Rapunzel’s name is Rapunzel Spohr.”
“No, Annie, hold on. Only –”
“Dora’s name is Dora Spohr.”
“Oookay… Time to go play blocks.”
For the rest of the day I learned that I had lots of family members I didn’t know about such as Big Bird Spohr, Super Why Spohr, and Santa Spohr.
So while Annie might not actually be a genius, I’m still constantly amazed at how quickly she understands language. It’s pretty cool to see, and I can’t wait to see what she says next.
And for the record? My favorite new relative by far is Santa Spohr. His name has a nice alliterative ring to it.
Jay- The Dude of the House says:
Wow, I never realized you were related to Super Why. Very cool.
Seriously though, my Little Dude is currently obsessed with shouting his names. First, middle and last. All the time. He sounds like he’s in the military or something.
“Wow, I never realized you were related to Super Why. Very cool.”
This entire post with comments is my new favorite thing.
Yeah, it is pretty amazing when they start telling you things you’re not prepared to hear. I just wish it were somewhat predictable.
My toddler somehow figured out the meaning of “stop” last week. Of course she did it while we were on vacation, and when grandma would try to hold her hand while they crossed the street (girlfriend would think nothing of running into cars), she’d emit a whiny “stooop it enma!”. Every. Five. Seconds. (my immediate thoughts: “Nice going kid, and good thing your grandma is a very good sport.”).
Meanwhile, at 21 months, her brilliant idea for telling me she’s hungry is to run in front of the fridge, and cry in front of it. We’ve worked on the concept of “hungry” for months, but I think she’s decided that our fat cat’s way to tell us he’s hungry is much more fun than using actual words. *sigh*
She’s so Cute!!! Ha ha… LOVE HER!!!!
Beth Mariel says:
Hahaha that’s adorable! Oh, the things children say :’)
The Spohrs really are multiplying!
Rachel W. says:
Thanks for sharing this Annie story. It made me smile. Since you’re related to Santa, please ask him to send me a new bike.
Mandi Bone says:
Our last name is Bone. When my oldest was little she was eating a chicken leg for dinner. I told her to be careful and to watch for the chicken bone. She spit out her mouthful of chicken and told me she would not be eating any thing with her last name.
Mommy Boots says:
Yes, I remember when Nellie learned her name. “I Nellie.”
Then she learned her middle name.
“I Nellie Rose.”
Then she learned her last, and it all sort of runs together now.
My niece doesn’t understand that people can have more than one relationship. For example; her mother is my sister but to tell my niece that, she will scream “No my mommy!” And this could go on forever until you realize you won’t win against a 4 year old and say oh ok, I’m sorry.
My kiddo would be jealous you’re related to Elmo and Super Why. It really is amazing to watch how quickly they learn things. Coraline seems to be learning new stuff every hour on the hour.
Let me add how much I *love* Annie’s T-shirt. It’s made of awesome, so it was tailor-made for her.
My step-daughter went through this phase, she would shout her name, birthday, the daycare she went to, and who all of her family numbers were to anyone that walked by. Sometimes I half expected her to shout out her social security number and a list of her fears.
That made me laugh. When I worked at a school age camp one summer, the hardest thing was convincing the kindergarten kids that it wasn’t such a good idea to shout their home address for everyone to hear on the bus.
“But… I’m supposed to know my name and address in case I get lost”
“Yes, dear. But the rest of the people on the bus don’t need to know it too.”
“Because… They have their own name and address that they need to remember.”
Heather Heasley says:
Wait ’till she starts swearing!!
When my daughter was 2, she & I painted a long wall down the hallway in our house together. A tiny spider was on the ceiling near where I was standing, and she flipped out. She decided the best way to rectify the situation was by smooshing the spider under a piece of blue painters tape, and then sealing it up and throwing it in the trash. Good plan. So when I peeled the tape of the ceiling, I dropped it. She flipped again, but I saved the day. As I climbed back up on the ladder after the spider was secure inside the trash can, she put the back of her chubby little hand to her head and said “Whew, Momma! It’s a lucky thing we killed that son-of-a-bitch, huh?”
Maybe one of the hardest things I’ve had to do was try not to have an exploding belly laugh on the top of a ladder…
It only keeps getting better!
Sonya aka Glam-O-Mommy says:
Love this! Totally cracking up!
Haha. Awesome. One of my twins thinks her name is “Moo Moo.” her name is Mira & her nickname is moo (thank you twin sister). She starts preschool in September. This will be interesting.
*Nods* It’s good to get in with the big guy early.
She’s such a doll; I love how they make the leap from themselves to the world around them. It’s endlessly fascinating.
Now the hard part is getting them to shut up.
Aww so cute! Dora Spohr has a nice ring to it too Annie is very advanced with remembering information and with her language skills. Your posts and videos are always impressive when it comes to Annie’s vocab.
I like grandma coffee. My great niece calls my mother in law grandma cherry because every time she sees her she has a manhattan in her hand with cherries in the bottom of the glass.
My daughter learned the concept of using first and middle names when she was doing something wrong. When she maybe 2 our dog did something she didn’t like and she said to him in her best stern voice “Rocky Elizabeth!”
It was hysterical! I love how they implement the things they learn. Your daughter it totally a genius and I’m super jealous that you’re related to Santa.
When my three year old daughter learned her whole name (and by extension the concept of whole names) she would tell everyone she saw that her name was June Cole Havens. So we similarly prompted her regarding the names of other family members and she resolutely insisted that everyone was named ________Cole Havens. Mommy Cole Havens, Daddy Cole Havens, Grandma Cole Havens, Brobee Cole Havens,etc… Her middle name is Cole in memory of my nephew Cole Berardi, who was killed after being hit by a car when he was 10, while I was pregnant with June. So we keep trying to explain the origin of her middle name to her, show her his pictures, teach her about him, but when this everybody is named _______ Cole Havens phase started she would get SO MAD that we were trying to tell her there was a Cole who was just named Cole and no Havens, so to this day she insists he is Cole Havens and that everyone she knows has the surname of Cole Havens as well. And I’m with you Mike, that may not make her a genius but it makes me laugh every time!
That was hilarious. Great story!
This reminded me of a funny from when my daughter was little. I, like most parents, would scold her by using her middle name. She heard “Emily Catherine!” quite a bit when she was 2-3 years old. One day, I said a bad word in front of her, and she looked up at me as deadpan as she could, and said, “MAMA CATHERINE!”
Coffee, Katthy…I totally get it and you should get that on tape before her diction improves, because telling that wouldn’t be nearly as adorable as hearing it!
Wow! You are related to so many coool people!
I love G’ma Coffee. My sister’s mother-in-law is called different things by all her grandkids (all 11 of them!). One of her names is Gramma Licious (as in delicious) from playing tea-party with a not-quite-2-yr-old and saying how delicious everything was!
I think Annie is catching on to these name concepts pretty early–I’ve known some kids who still didn’t have it down when they were heading of to kindergarten.
It’s a wild world out there: first-middle-last names, nick-names, relations. My 3 y.0. niece has really fully grasped that we were once babies too. She is fascinated with pictures of her mommy & auntie & gramma–and anyone else’s baby pictures she can get her hands on. She’ll sit and go through our baby photos and then compare them to hers. It really trips her out when I will make collages of all of our baby pictures! Imagine ancient Auntie M (I’m soon to be 42) having once been a baby! Never mind that I am Auntie M aka Mary aka Mare.
Last weekend my usually adorably polite niece who typically asks for things by saying, “Auntie M, may I please have some xxx?” casually threw over her shoulder, “Hey, Mare, I need some more chips!” I nearly choked laughing!