He's just shy of four months and the Turtle is at such a fun age. He's really starting to interact. He mimics sounds and faces. He "talks" up a storm and is just starting to discover that by contorting his lips and tongue he can actually create certain "words." There's a lot of "mahs", "mehs" and "aaaahs" being spoken at full volume at least a few times a day. It's also fascinating the way that he can roll Rs in the back of his throat. Chris read something about babies and the formation of language. I guess that when we're born, assuming there aren't any developmental obstacles, we are capable of making any human sound. This includes the rolled forward Rs of many Romance Languages and the clicks found in certain African dialects. It's actually the development of our first language that compromises those natural sounds. Fascinating right?
The four-month mark is also the time for great game-playing. Now, we've been playing games since birth, but the Turtle is just finally starting to get in on the play and it's a hoot. Some of our favorites are:
The Geography Lesson: Inspired by an exercise in mommy and me yoga - I created a little "geography lesson." I touch the Turtle's head, then his feet, then move his arms to each side. And I identify buroughs and cities in the New York Metro Area. I'm singing, "Bronx and Brooklyn, Jersey and Queens. New York Babies are really cool beans."
Fingers and Toes: In the same vein as the Geography Lesson, we identify parts of the body. "Heads, eyes, ears and nose, elbows, knees, fingers and toes." The Turtle eagerly awaits for me to grab his toes and if he's in good spirits will laugh hysterically when I finally get there.
Skyrantulas: This is my folks' game, which Chris and I have adopted. We basically start a foot or so above Turtle, and spider down toward his face saying "The Skyrantulas are coming to tickle you." Again it's about the anticipation and I love to see my little guy's eyes grow bigger and bigger the closer the "spiders" get, and then again the hysterical laughter that happens when we tickle his belly.
Roly-Polies: This is another mommy and me yoga game, though I have added a ryhme. I pull up the Turtle's legs so he's in a little crouching position, but on his back and I roll him from side to side (it's supposed to help encourage rolling over on his own). The ryhme that I sing, as silly as it sounds is: "Roly-Poly, Teeter- Tawter, Where is my bread and water?" It's amazing what joy he and I both find in the simplest things.
The Turtle and his dad also have some great games, and I know they are discovering more and more every day. Who knew that being a good entertainer was such an important part of parenthood?