One of the things I admire the most about The Dormouse is her ability to think on her feet and commit to saying the thoughts that are inside her head even though she knows she doesn't have the complete language to express them.

She'll begin a sentence and sometime in the middle of it, realize she does not know the word for what she is about to say. But does that stop her? No. Does she pause and trail off? No. Does she stop to ask what the word is? No. She commits to it fully and simply invents a word without missing a beat in her sentence, completely impervious to the fact that the word might not be the right one. She's so confident that when we go, "Uh... whaaaa??!?", she repeats the made-up word like we're the dumb ones and how could we not know what a speegabo is?

This is a relatively new phenomenon. When she was about two, she was already talking quite a bit and someone asked me what was the funniest word that we use in our house that wasn't really a word.

"Huh?" I questioned.

"You know, like words that she says wrong or can't say so you all just use the new word like it's a real one and after awhile even the adults forget that it's not a real word... like 'pasghetti'... or... with my daughter it was 'mate-mo' for tomato."

"Uh... she just always says the right word. I can't really think of one that applies. I guess back before she was talking at all, she said 'bop' for 'pacifier'... is that what you mean?" I stammered back, confused, because in my mind, I'm thinking WHAT DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE IS MY CHILD MISSING OUT ON NOW??!?

"No." *looks at me like I'm either lying or being one of those 'my child already knows everything' mommies* "Oh, I just thought every kid had some of those moments." *quick change of subject*

I wasn't lying. Until about three months ago, except for the 'bop' thing, The Dormouse had a pretty big vocabulary for her relative sphere of interest. There simply weren't many things she wanted to say for which she didn't know the word. She has always been a very verbal kid - most likely she gets that from her parents, who are both hyperverbal themselves. When she was an infant and I was home with her by myself all day, I simply talked incessantly to her to amuse myself. "OK, now is the period of the day when you get to experience a diaper change, so you get to travel all the way up to the uppermost surface in the room, the changing table, and then I would appreciate it if you could wait patiently while I reach over onto the shelf and get some diaper cream and this stuff has zinc oxide in it which is supposed to be really good for diaper rash and other kinds of skin irritations so you ought to like that and remember not to kick momma in the face because that's not appropriate behavior..." all in a sing-songy voice. I'm sure I sounded ridiculous but it kept me from going crazy in those early weeks when I had absolutely no adult conversation whatsoever.

Maybe it's that or just her father's genes, but she processes everything verbally. Which is great for us... it's always easy to know what she's thinking because whatever it is simply falls out of her mouth in an endless stream of expression. But now her interests and experience are expanding so much faster than her vocabulary that she doesn't always have the word for what she wants to talk about.

Yesterday, this excited emination came from the breakfast table: "Mom! Look! Look! I see a cat who looks just like our cat; right there on the numberdot!" She was pointing to a picture of a cat on the calendar.

Some other words that only make sense in Wonderland:

numberdot = calendar
bop = pacifier
poc-shank = yard arm (like on a ship, doesn't every 3 year old talk about this?)
oneabeswingdatonorpor is planet number four = Mars
waterhole = harbor
smorgabridge = parking garage
peopo tunnel = bridge
juggerations = decorations
nopic = please stop doing that, I'm mildy irritated by it
dai-eer = deer
toypool = aquarium
scoopajammer = ice cream scoop
quock the scoopajammer = take the ice cream out of the ice cream scoop
beedlebopper = bannister
clip clops = barrettes
budgie bones = bean bag chair

Perhaps I will create my own dictionary and start a new language all my own.