When I was in school, English class was pretty easy for me. I was fortunate that my parents used proper grammar at home. Between that and reading lots of books, I didn’t have to memorize too many verb tenses…I could just follow my gut as to what “sounded” right in those eighth grade fill-in-the-blank exercises.
Since the girls were born, I’ve made a concerted effort to speak properly at home. I’ve even worked to curb a couple of my lazy Southern habits…namely, using lie / lay correctly; and saying, “I’m sitting on the floor,” (as opposed to "in” the floor).
Over the past few months, I’ve been so delighted to hear the girls’ communication skills blossom…and to witness some good, old-fashioned grammar in action.
At 27 months, the girls still often refer to themselves in third person, and they don’t always get the subject-verb agreement right, but my heart sings when I hear them using certain adjectives and adverbs.
In the mornings, when the girls come downstairs to find their baby dolls and stuffed dogs and bears, I often hear them saying, “Baby slept well.” And when Baby B was sick last week, she was crying, “I don’t feel well!”
Baby B has taken to saying the phrase, “That’s very helpful.” I can’t help but laugh at that grown-up comment from her tiny little self. She also told me last week, “Let’s read this book quickly.” I think she was trying to squeeze in one more tome before naptime.
The girls are incorporating words like “probably” and “actually” into their speech, which is so darn cute. And within the last couple of weeks they’ve pointed out several cars on our walks, saying, “That similar to Daddy’s!”
And I can’t help but be proud when I hear them tell their dollies, “Lie down, baby.”
I am beginning to see the fruits of my grammar labor, and I love what I’m hearing.
Now if I can just keep reminding myself not to lapse into my best Forrest Gump impression too often…”I do love me some shrimp!”…then maybe the girls will have an easy time in their English classes one day, too.