At 22 months, Sasha is deep in that language-acquisition mode that makes parenthood (and, I imagine, toddlerhood) so enjoyable. Every day brings new vocabulary and new insights into how children use language. (Why is “no” so easy to learn but not “yes”? It reminds me of Chinese and Vietnamese, actually, where “no” is easily defined but to signify assent you assert a positive verb or adjective. But I digress.)
The wonderful part is that much of this is out of our control. Sasha brings new words into the conversation that we can’t remember having taught her—like “tired.” But her learning it and adopting it are evidence of her growing independence.
The not-so-wonderful part is that much of this out of our control. The other night, we were trying to get Sasha to eat something new—borscht, I think—and when she refused at first, I broke into song. See, Sasha’s recently become enamored of “Yo, Gabba Gabba!,” and one scene she’s watched often is a song called “Try It, You’ll Like It.” (Guess what it’s about.)
Anyway, it worked! She tried it! And… she hated it!
And then, as she made a yuck face and walked away, I joked, “Try it, you’ll hate it.”
To which she immediately responded, “I hate it!” Then she said it again. And again.
What made this extra-annoying is that I’ve been trying to figure out ways of teaching her the word “like” and “want”—the kind of affirmative concepts that can be slippery if, you know, you’re less than 2 years old.
The upside, however, is that should a restaurant critic job open in the next decade or so, I think she’ll be a natural. A.A. Gill, watch out.