Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I’ve read several articles recently that warn that many 6-month old babies develop a habit of fake coughing to get attention. Right on schedule, Ryan has started fake coughing – only it’s definitely not to get attention. It’s because he is absolutely fascinated by the sound of his own voice.

For a number of weeks now, he’s been showing lots of interest in other people’s voices - and not only voices, but other mouth sounds. He loves listening to someone click their tongue, or whistle, or blow raspberries, or make a cork-popping noise. But now he’s discovering that he can make all kinds of different noises himself. We often wake up in the morning to the sound of Ryan cooing in his crib, but lately it sounds more like he’s experimenting with his voice. He’s like a mockingbird: he goes through his entire repertoire (fake cough, laugh, “wwooOOooww”, soft hum, loud hum, wolf whistle, giggle), pauses for a moment, then goes through it all again.

He also loves it when you echo him. We were at my mom’s yesterday and the two of them spent lots of time making funny noises back and forth at each other (honestly, I’m not quite sure who was imitating whom). Ryan was in fine form, doing not only the fake cough but the combination cough-laugh, the Woody Woodpecker snicker, and even the Elmer Fudd chuckle, plus several unidentified vowel sounds and the occasional moan.

But above and beyond the sound of his own voice, he loves any sounds he can make with his hands and feet. He’s discovered that scrunching paper makes a lovely crinkling noise and will help himself to my grocery list or the church bulletin any other unguarded piece of paper I have in my hand.

Preparing to pounce on Mummy's wrapping paper

He has several toys with crinkly ears or squeakers that he loves to play with. Yesterday my mom gave him a favorite toy of mine as a baby, a set of stacking rings that rings a bell each time you slide a ring onto the pole. He couldn’t manage sliding the rings, but he had a wonderful time shaking and jiggling the toy so the bell would ring! And just this morning he discovered that Daddy had put a new stack of diapers on the changing table and left them in the plastic sleeve – ooh, what a wonderful crinkly noise THOSE can make!

The world is full of wonderful noises for him to discover. I can hardly wait until he discovers the piano and the guitar in the living room!

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