I haven’t written much about Gabey of late. He’s just been busy growing and blooming and being a busy snuggly wild five year old. But he’s been doing something more and more that is unique among our kids and my parenting years.
It’s his language. By which I mean, his own unique sound-language. It’s a babble, really. A gibberish of sorts. We have taken to calling it “Gabelish.”
This language of his getting pretty sophisticated in it’s usage, with clear sentence breaks and intonation. However he doesn’t have a consistent vocabulary, so it’s not that evolved or in reality a language constructed for real life use. I think. It seems to be just play. I think he’s playing. He’s pretty darn intent on it though, and only corrects back to actual English when we make him do so because we can’t understand. It sounds vaguely like a kooky blend of Russian, Turkish, French, and a smidgen of Amharic, maybe. All the sounds. He will answer my questions in Gabelish. He will make requests for stuff, in Gabelish. When I cannot understand he repeats in Gabelish. Sometimes, the same, identical words/sounds. Sometimes it changes. Which is how I know he’s playing. And, let me be clear, this boy has been speaking complex sentences, no, paragraphs, for years now in English. He is a very well spoken five year old.
He just often will goof around; babbling out such sound and texture. I think he dreams it up, on the fly, and it springs forth for the pleasure of the mouthing and sound of it. But, really, for me, the remarkable bit is that he uses this with such aplomb; wIth such confidence and presence. As if, he’s just speaking another language, duh, just not ours. His. And it clearly tickles him that he knows more languages than we do.
So, it’s kind of cute. But also kind of wacky. I did the research of course (I can’t help myself, don’t judge me). And the net pulls up info on this sort of activity across the board: from gifted to being on the spectrum. So, for now, I’m gonna split the difference. I’m going with age and stage. I’m gonna presume it’s just his wacky silly nature and a silly game for him. But I want to mark it down. Because I suspect that this is a mere goofy blip as he grows. Perhaps he’ll turn into a great linguist when he grows up, and we will smile at each other knowingly, for we saw it first.
For now, it’s just Gabelish: A little babbling river of sound that is fun and full of make believe and makes him smile with a quiet glee, every time. He is “Master of his world” when he speaks this, and clearly revels in that. For our part in this game? We smile at each other and listen to the rollicking river of Gabelish.