I’ve noticed over the last few weeks and explosion in the Little Man’s vocabulary, both in what he can say and what he understands. At just a few days shy of 18 months, he understands quiet a bit. The other day, I asked him where his nose was and he pointed to his nose. I asked him where his eye was and he pointed to his eye. I repeated this with “feet” and “tummy” and he got them all correct. I was impressed, especially since we didn’t teach him this. He must have picked up at school, which makes me very happy with the school. He doesn’t say these words yet, but he understands them very clearly. He also understands “kitchen”, “downstairs”, “upstairs” and “bath” although he doesn’t yet say these words.
But he has been saying more. “Mama” has evolved into “Mommy” which he says constantly and which he uses not only to refer to Kelly, but also as a general, “I need some attention here” catch-phrase. He can say “shoes”, “puppy”, “airplane”, “happy”, “up” (e.g. pick me up, although he pronounces it as “up-uh”), “bus”, “choo-choo”, “tree”, “apple”. Many of these are fairly new. If I ask him “where’s dada?” he points to me. He can say “bottle” and “water”. And of course, both “Yeah!” and “No!” are very big, too.
He knows what he wants and he generally understands how to get it. If we don’t respond to his pleas in a timely fashion, he’ll take up by the hand and lead us to whatever it is he needs. He is also getting good at predicting behavior. When I read to him at night, we always finish with the same book (The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton). On the last two pages are pictures of the moon. I usually ask him “where’s the moon?” and he points to it. But recently, I’ll finish reading what’s on the page and before I can ask him, the Little Man points to the moon.
It’s pretty amazing to watch his capacity for language grow like this. He can say a lot more words than he could just a few months ago, and he understands ten times the words he can actually say. Kelly and I don’t talk down to him, and we generally don’t talk “baby-talk” to him. We try to pronounce the words properly, even if he gets them wrong (he says, “wawa” for “water” and “me-me” for “milk”) in the hopes that eventually, he’ll learn the proper pronunciations more quickly. Sometimes we slip, but generally I think we do a pretty good job.
I wonder how much more he’ll be able to say in six months?
We’re noticing a lot of the same with our two girls. They surprise me with how much they understand. I was reciting a line from “Moo, Baa, La La La,” and one of the girls brought me that book open to that very page.
Another friend was telling me that 18 months is right around the age when language really starts to broaden and expand.