My son is now 16.5 months old (Howww??) and his language is really exploding of late. He can clearly pick up on what we’re saying in a way he didn’t seem to just a couple month ago. He’s even able to tell me what he wants (sometimes) and has started to try out more words. We’ll tell him what something is and he’ll often give the word a go. Some words are more successful than others. In his arsenal up until now: ball, book, balloon, bubble, banana, bye bye, night night, dog, cat, cup, cheese, crackers, cookie, water (more like waa), go, ya, no (no no no no no), shh. And there are new ones everyday. We have a Google Home we keep in the kitchen. We mostly use it as a speaker and cooking timer. Leni even knows how to ask Google to play her favourite tunes. Anyway, the other day we had it playing music in the backyard and Finn mosied up to it, pointed and said something. I didn’t quite understand what he’d said at first so I told him, “that’s a speaker.” Then I realized what he was saying was actually “Google” (Googo). Ha! And then he did a little dance.
One word I’ve been listening for though? His sister’s name, Leni. For ages I’ve been trying to pick up on what he calls her. He says the names of his grandparents (Gaga, Gramps—although he mostly calls both my mum and dad Gaga—and Baba) and ours (mama, dada). He even says our dog’s name (Ruby). Has for quite a while in fact. It wasn’t until just the other day that I heard her name from him clear as a bell. Jose and I have gotten into a habit where he gets Finn when he wakes in the morning and brings him to bed so we can nurse (and I can stay prone–hooray!). This particular morning, Leni was also in the bed with me (she’d wandered in at some point in the night). So when Finn arrived she was lying asleep beside me. He looked over, pointed to her and said, “Nenna.” Now I hear him say it all the time. In joy and sometimes in frustration.
The words have been there for a while of course, even if he couldn’t quite verbalize them. He’s been communicating (since birth really) in his own unique way. He gets better at it all the time. So much of what we communicate with each other doesn’t even require words. One of his favourite things to do each day, for example, is to walk Ruby. Much to her delight. He grabs her leash and throws it down by the front door as he points and gestures looking up at me, while our dog prances about him in excitement. He likes to carry the poo bags while we take her out at his toddling pace.
I can ask him what he’d like if I give him some choices and he can clearly identify his preference without any need of the word. Pointing and nodding can go a long way. I even feel like his major high pitched screams have slightly diminished since I’ve started to offer him words for why he’s screaming in the moment, even if he’s not quite using them just yet. Sometimes when he tells us something we can’t quite understand, I’ll ask Leni what she thinks he’s saying. Her guesses range from quite probable and helpful to pretty creative slash outlandish.
It’s an amazing reminder of the power of communication at its most basic level. Where once he only had cries, he now has this growing list of tools at the ready.
Can’t wait to hear what else he’s got to tell us!