Sunday, August 30, 2015

Casper Speaks

Casper, you were a late talker. At a year you had no words. At 18 months we told ourselves that you were saying Mama and Dada but it was a bit of a wishful parenting leap -- you mostly ran around chanting "bitta bitta" and "minna minna my" which might have been words but we never figured out their meanings. I'll admit here that I was just a little bit worried. Logically I know that talking, unlike rolling or smiling, was something with a huge range of normal. And yet.... what did it mean that you didn't talk when other kids did?

Starting in May, you slowly found your voice. You said "bye bye" and "baby" and very slowly started picking up new words. For a long while, I kept a list.

Words as of 8/7/15
bye (first post mama dada)
me (“memememememe” when you wants something like a bottle of milk (said while hitting the refrigerator) or dad’s iphone)
dump (for dump truck)
hi (Kenesha taught you this on 7/14)
Zayd (for Zayden)
good (7/21)
dog (7/31)
hot (in reference to the beach sand in CT 8/1)
‘dilla (quesadilla 8/4)
nanna (banana)
poop (early August)
pee (8/7)

Not too shabby. In parallel you worked on your animal noises, mastering moo, hiss, peep peep and aroo (elephant). And mostly, you worked on your letters. You love letters. I blame the subway and books about the subway -- the first letter you learned was "F" for "F" train. At 21 months you know the entire alphabet save W (which I suspect you know but can't say). Often while walking the neighborhood or while riding the train you'll spot a sign and exclaim "A D! A D!!!!!" or quietly grin up at me to whisper "M. M. M."

A couple of weeks ago you and I took our 4th solo trip to CA to visit family (your 10th round trip plane trip!) and the new surroundings seemed to inspire your speech. I quickly lost track of your vocabulary as you sputtered about bears and cows and bugs and rocks. Quickly renaming Grandpa Horst to "Pa" and Grandpa Kay to "Ama" and demanding they take you to the car, to the tractor, to the horse, to the cat. Requesting crackers and cookies and apples and bread and snacks (always "'NACK!!!").

We came home after a week and the words continued to spill forth -- now in groups of two. "More book!" you yell. "Dada off," you demand. Frequently, you name things I had no idea you could identify -- this week alone I've heard toe, couscous, phone, on, light, read, meat, card, pig, goldbug, giraffe, yoga, all done.... Forget accounting for them all I can't even account for today.

Developmentally I believe this is called a leap. Welcome to the other side Big Talker.