Dat Zap

It's interesting to see how various people translate babies' sounds and gestures.  For example, Neeps has recently started sticking out a finger and making a sound that I've been translating as, "Dat?" as in, "What/who is that?"  As such, I've been responding by pointing to whatever it is I think he's pointing at (pointing being a rather inexact science for 10-month-olds) and saying, "What's that?  That's a tree/bush/wall/etc." or, "Who's that?  That's your daddy/Oma/Isis the dog/etc."

But then we went to visit family, and they were delighted that Neeps was playing "zap", a game familiar to them from their own baby.  Which is to say, when Neeps stuck out his finger and made his noise, they would touch it with their own finger and say, "Zap!" in mimicry, and general giggling would ensue.

Obviously there is no right or wrong in this- babies may or may not have an initial meaning for their flails/gibbering, but we train them to mean what we think they mean based on our responses.  And that's fascinating.  It's incredible to watch babies learn to be human or, as Nathan would say, self-programing meat-computers.

Not to mention what it tells us about our own psyches, and what we find value in communicating.  Makes one wonder if there's not a bit of a subconscious-memory-thing going on, of our own time as infants, and what we meant when we did those things.  Or perhaps just what our parents translated it.

Curiouser and curiouser.

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