A Dog of a Different Color?
Adrianna loves pointing at things and asking, “Da?” which we interpret to mean, “What’s that?” (It can also mean Daddy and dog.) I estimate that I now hear “Da” at least a couple hundred times a day. She uses it all the time, even when she is playing and talking to herself.
Adrianna also loves looking at books. She has a couple favorites that she will page through over and over. One of them is a big board book full of nursery rhymes and cute drawings of the rhymes, complete with lots of animals. It is obvious which pages contain her favorite pictures, because she will turn the pages back and forth to those pages many times and point to the portion of the picture that catches her eye and ask, “Da?” The objects are usually animals and most often kitties and dogs.
Today she was pointing at the brown and white, spotted, long-eared dog in the picture of Old Mother Hubbard.
“Da?” she asked.
“Dog,” I replied.
Then, she flipped back a couple pages and was pointing at the brown, short-eared dog that is part of the illustration for Jack Sprat.
“Da?” she asked.
“Dog. Yes, that is also a dog,” I replied.
After my response, I could see the wheels turning in her head. She had a perplexed look on her face for a moment. How could both of them be dogs when they looked so different? (At least this is what is seemed like she was thinking.) She continued to page back and forth between the two pages, each time asking, “Da?” as if to say, “Are you sure you know what you are talking about, mom?”
Add to that the confusion that the pictures of those cartoony dogs don’t look anything like our two dogs in real life. And then there is the big, golden retriever at her childcare lady’s house. How could all these creatures all be the same thing – dogs? That must be confusing for someone just learning all the intricacies of labeling things in her every day life. Pretty soon she may think that every moving animal of a certain general size is a dog. With the exception of kitties of course, but even those come in all shapes, colors, and sizes.