We went out of town this weekend, up to Dallas to see Betty Buckley and Seth Rudetsky do their "Broadway By Request" show. We decided to fly to save ourselves from spending 7+ hours in the car, and we stayed at the Hyatt at DFW airport. That turned out to be really cool, because we had a room with a view of the runway. And Carter LOVES airplanes. He literally spent the entire afternoon in the window, watching the planes take off and land. I wish I can say we'd planned it that way, but we didn't even think about that beforehand!
I pushed an ottoman over to the window so that he could climb up and down on his own to watch.
By the end of the afternoon, he was finally saying "airplane" instead of just signing it! He was in heaven, and it was a lot of fun to watch. We had brought his favorite airplane book with us, and he flipped through it while looking out the window, as if trying to match up the pictures in his book with what he was seeing.
He had a good weekend, and was a fantastic little traveler, as always. The flight back this morning was his 43rd, and he seemed especially interested in the process. It's funny how much he's changed since the last flight a couple of months ago. He clearly understands that we're on an airplane and are flying, and he talks about it while looking out the window. I can just see that he's looking at the world in a more analytical way now than he was a few weeks ago.
He's trying so hard to makes sense of the world right now, and is using language as much as he can to do that. I've read enough Vygotsky to know that's how it's supposed to work, but it's still so amazing to watch. For example, when we were in the airport, he kept saying and signing "bike" excitedly whenever he saw a wheelchair. When you think about it, wheelchairs have two big wheels, like bikes do, and he doesn't have enough experience with either to know what the defining characteristics are. He see two big wheels, and that signals "bike". I find that fascinating!
Another example is that if he sees something that is shaped like a fish, he calls it a fish, regardless of whether or not it's actually a fish. He does the same with airplanes and buses, though he can obviously identify actual fish, airplanes, and buses.
Here are some pictures of him playing with a wheel this morning. This kid is going to be SO into cars one day.
Here are a couple of cute pictures from Friday morning. He likes to have his snacks standing in his tower, and we have fun little chats.
Doug commented today that I "chat" with Carter a lot, and I guess I do. It's a conscious choice, actually. Several years ago, I read some research on child development that said that there was a correlation between the amount of time parents spent talking to their children as babies and toddlers, and their later academic achievement. (The more they're exposed to language, the better those skills develop, and those are the foundation for everything else.) I also read not long ago that research has shown that mothers talk more to their daughters than to their sons, which some think is part of what gives girls a linguistic advantage. So I made a conscious decision to talk to Carter a lot about what I'm doing and why when we're hanging out around the house. I talk to him about all sorts of things. I even explained osmosis to him today (in the context of salting eggplant slices, heh).
Anyway, I have no idea if any of this will make a difference, but it's a lot of fun to talk with him and watch his language skills grow every day. :-)