Over the past month, Philip has taken an interest in his own reflection. He has been looking at himself in a variety of reflective surfaces: the oven, a spoon, car windows, the metal grate around my parents’ fireplace and, of course, mirrors. It’s as if he suddenly realized he could control the image at which he was looking.
One of his new favorite places in our house is our bedroom. I have a dresser with a mirror attached. When he is in a jumping mood, he checks himself out in the mirror while he jumps on our bed. Other times, he climbs up on the dresser to get up close and personal.
While up there, he may just tilt his head. Sometimes, he puts his whole body into it. But, the reason I don’t discourage what appears as self-absorbed behavior is that he usually vocalizes in front of the mirror.
Each time he makes a new sound, he is seeing the shape of his mouth. Even more encouraging, I can sometimes get him to imitate my sound. He is especially found of saying “ah.” I can almost always get him to copy me on this sound.
This evening, as I was taking these pictures, he went from “eh” to “ooh” to “ah” to a whole string of “da da da da da.” We like to say he is blaming something on Peter.
In truth, all of the “da da das” don’t seem to relate to Daddy. I am, however, happy to report that Philip has started saying “uh oh” in appropriate contexts. I’m glad that he demonstrated this new phrase when his speech therapist came by on Wednesday for a session.
Not only am I hoping that this mirror play will be a bridge to more speech, I think it helps Philip understand how to watch and copy other skills. This evening, I convinced him to put a blueberry in his mouth after I did the same. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get him to chew it like I did the one in my mouth. In fact, he took the intact berry back out of his mouth. And then offered it to me. Uh, no thanks.