Monday, January 31, 2011

In Which Connor Out-Screams A Hippo

Connor has this application on his iPad called Talking Baby Hippo.

Basically it's this purple hippo on a tiny tropical island who mimics all of the sounds you make in an extremely high pitched voice.  Despite its rather loose take on scientific accuracy (who knew hippos come in pastel colors, hang out ocean side and spend a lot of time sucking down helium?) I like the program because it encourages Connor to vocalize.  We think he actually has one sound he's assigned meaning to now!  Predictably, it's "uh-uh." 

Now if we can just get him to say "uh-huh" we'll be golden.

We're not expecting speech to ever be his main mode of communication-- he still only produces nasal (m, n, and ng) and approximant (w, r, l, and y) consonants and the only vowel sound he makes is 'ah'; there aren't a whole lot of words you can construct from those pieces.  We figure the more ways he has to get his point across the better though, so we'll keep encouraging him to make lots of noise!  At least we'll encourage it at home, anyway.  Sometimes in the middle of the grocery store I wish he wasn't quite so enthusiastic about the sounds he's making.  For such a small kid he's got a remarkable lung capacity.

Anyway, so Connor was playing with his hippo application and having a great time and I was sewing on the clutch purse (which I finished today) as well as occasionally making the hippo sing songs from Alvin and The Chipmunks for my personal amusement when my phone rang.  It was Connor's pharmacist, who was calling about a prescription. 

We're on a first-name basis, which tells you how often I talk to the pharmacist.

I chattered away when the pharmacist told me that she'd call me back.  "I think something's funny with our connection," she said. "I'm getting this weird really high pitched echo of your voice."  We hung up and she called me again.  "Huh.  It's still there," she said. 

That's when I realized that the hippo program-- which was on at top volume because Connor's hearing is most affected in the higher ranges-- was still picking up everything I was saying and faithfully repeating it back word for word.  Evidently it was coming in loud and clear on the other end of the line.  Whoops.

So I turned the iPad off to continue my phone conversation, which proved to be a mistake.  Connor had really been enjoying the talking baby hippo and when signing that he wanted it back proved ineffective he decided that doing what I'd been encouraging him to do all day-- exercising his vocal cords-- would maybe make it reappear instead.  So he started shrieking in an extremely high pitched voice at the top of his lungs, doing a remarkably good imitation of what the hippo would have sounded like had its volume been increased about threefold and if it could only repeat back the vowel "ah." 

Needless to say my phone conversation with the pharmacist was not terribly productive.



Julia O'C said...

Emmett has a few of those talking apps and we love them. He has long (unintelligible) conversations with them. His favorite is the bird, though. In addition to repeating whatever you say, it has a little keyboard underneath and will whistle whatever note you push. Even better, if you keep your finger on one note for long enough, the bird will EXPLODE. I'll bet Connor would really like that.

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Hate to say it, but this post made me laugh out loud. Connor cracks me up! That hippo app sounds really cool (no pun intended).

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