And I have been thinking about what I said all morning, because I said it naturally. I wasn't trying to come up with words seldom used or sound smart. It's just what came out. And that's how I've always spoken to the Orclette. I never spoke baby-talk to her. I couldn't, actually. It sounded silly and my voice wouldn't do it. As a result she sounds more like a teenager than a three-year old, pulling words and phrases out of her memory that routinely astonish us. Of course her maturity level is still at three, so sometimes the combination is overwhelmingly funny. In case you were curious, I do occasionally speak baby-talk to the Miniorc. I appear to have mastered that language the second time around.
In other areas as well the Orclette excels. It's a combination of natural smarts and her parents always talking about what they're doing in school. And it struck me this afternoon: I want to develop a culture of learning around my kids. We're on our way already. "Dora the Explorer" is frequently on and because my collegiate Spanish course is simply not adequate in learning the language I play language cd's while we're in the car. Recently the Orclette has begun asking me the Spanish equivalent for anything she sees or thinks about. The Miniorc can do basic chores (like throwing things away) and follow most commands/instructions even though he doesn't feel the need to speak much yet. Both of them love to "read" and will pore over the pictures in books. The Orclette loves going to the engineering classes with Damm (although she doesn't understand what they're talking about). The Miniorc has inherited his mother's love of pens and highlighters.
So at the moment I don't feel the need to change our routine, beyond making sure I play a wider range of music. My mother did that for us, and all three of us turned out to be musicians. I'd love for my kids to do the same. They already love the piano and singing is a constant activity. In the future? I don't know yet. I just got the idea, and it needs to germinate for awhile.
Lest I appear to be tooting our horn, let me add that there's plenty of frivolity going on as well. There are days that no school/learning/culture activities are done, and on those days I wile away the day watching t.v. or reading escapist novels. But I do aspire to more days with a "culture of learning" going on and less "popular culture". Less t.v., more arts. Less escapist fiction, more literature that makes us think and reevaluate. That kind of thing.
And the best compliment I received today was my little brother telling me that he was totally going to use the phrase "Expunge that phrase from your lexicon!" because it was so cool.