The Superlativist / by Susie Lubell

Right now is the best, worst, biggest, greatest, silliest, hugest, fastest, funniest time in my son's life. He's in the superlative stage and I must say it's quite charming to hear him go on and on in animated detail about his many adventures. It's clear to me that he's experimenting with language which I love. I remember when I was learning Hebrew, which wasn't too long ago, I knew I was nearing fluency when I no longer had to plan what I was about to say and when I could make up words based on these six verb paradigms that are the foundation of the language. It meant that I could verbify (see, I even make up stuff in English - what fun!) any word I wanted and seven out of ten times I was right. And the other three times I had my husband, colleagues, friends, bank tellers and telephone operators rolling on the floor laughing. But I was trying and trying leads to learning.

So it tickles me when I hear my son say things like, I'm eating the extra muchest mashed potatoes.

It gives me the giantest grin.