Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vox Humana

I wish I’d had the tape recorder or a video camera by my bed this morning when Ryan woke up, because his morning vocal pyrotechnics get funnier and more elaborate every day. He seems to use the morning as his time to experiment with his voice. The sounds often begin with a quiet humming, then move on to a succession of vowels, ending with a series of exclamations: Eee! Gug! Oof! HaaaAAAaaah! Generally followed by his staccato “Bert laugh”. Then some more humming which is often suddenly muffled when I imagine he sticks a rag (or a teddy bear, or the corner of his blanket, or whatever else might be handy) into his mouth.

My favorite part of listening to the whole process is picturing what he’s doing. The exclamations are often accompanied by the clunk of the side of the crib being jiggled, so I suspect he’s standing up and bouncing while he does those. The quieter humming at the beginning and end generally includes some soft squeaking so I think he’s probably lying down, rolling around on his back with his feet in the air. When I come in to wake him up, I sometimes catch him in the act – he’s usually concentrating on listening to himself so intently that I can watch him for several minutes before he notices me in the doorway.

I’m especially curious to hear how his morning “chatter” will evolve as he learns to talk. Will I hear him having conversations with himself? Will he repeat new words that he’s learned? Or will this continue to be a time to merely experiment with the different sounds that he can make, regardless of language or meaning? I suppose that at some point in time he’ll recognize that others are (or could be) listening in, and he’ll keep it to himself. But until he reaches that point, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy listening to him discover his own voice.

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