Emer is learning make-believe much faster than Linnea did, and it’s because she watches Linnea doing it. She copies what Linnea does – hard-legged plastic animals prickle their way up my shin and down my thigh and across the vast plain of my abdomen. Emer says her animals stop for mama milk; Linnea tells me to stop talking and be a lake.
Emer went from half a dozen words in daily use to thirty or more in less than a fortnight. She’s experimenting with little two-word sentences. She has hauled out all her old words (she used to learn a word, use it for a week or so, then put it away while she learned a new one) and is working on some more.
Linnea likes to read signs, when we’re out, and responds incredibly badly to criticism – correction or criticism (sometimes it’s hard to work out which I’ve perpetrated) can result in a total lockdown and refusal to attempt further academic-type work.
Emer doesn’t always want to learn what Linnea wants to teach. Linnea is learning to cope with this.