by duonexus on Mon 01 May 2006 07:04 PM CDT | Permanent Link | Cosmos
Ulysses's latest favorite thing to do is the big sneeze. He tilts his head back, opens his mouth and preps expertly with a series of stacatto inhalation-exhalations: "Ahh-a, ahh-a, ahh-a..." His head bounces and forward and back, just a little, with each one. Then there's the big pause, as he faces the ceiling, his back arched. Then the denoument: "Aaaa-TOO!" He looks up at me with a grin. "Aah-choo!" I echo, and we laugh together at the drama.
"Aaaa-too! Aaa-TOO!" The game continues. Ulysses throws out the faux sneezes, one after the other. It's easy to miss how carefully he's delivering each one. Sometimes he watches my mouth and comes closer to the "ch" sound, on his next repeat, then appears pleased with the accomplishment. "Aaa-ttt-sss-oo!"
When the game began -- or when I first noticed it -- his sneezes were closer to "Aa-ta!" I mimicked the sound he was making, but he didn't seem to like it. Then I realized he was doing sneezes. "Aah-CHOO!" I did my best fake sneeze. He liked that, and after a few more attempts got his own "oo" sound going in the second syllable.
For over a year, he's been saying, "Oooooooo!" in expressing pleasure. I hadn't expected that putting "ooo" inside a word would be a challenge. There it was.