P&G are almost 18 months old and I’m starting to feel the pressure.
I keep hearing that 18 months is supposed to be a big month for speech development.
As we get closer and closer, though, I find myself becoming skeptical.
Oh, they talk all the time.
But you would need me as an interpreter to know exactly what they mean by the sounds coming out of their mouths. And sometimes, there really is no meaning. It’s just babble.
We read books at least twice a day, in the morning after they have breakfast, and in the evening before bath time.
I’ve filled the lower bookshelves in our living room with their books (because they refused to leave any objects on those shelves–so why not put things there that I actually want them to take down, like books?). During our “formal reading time”, I direct them over to the bookshelves and ask them to “bring a book back to mommy”. They each pick one out (or sometimes as many as they can fit in their little hands) and come running over to me, squeezing their way onto my lap. They know it’s reading time. And they love it. As I turn the pages and sound out the words, they look at the book, and then intently back at me, trying to mimic the words I’m saying. I see their lips moving in the same shape as mine, but sometimes it’s apparent they can’t summon the courage to actually say anything out loud. Usually, though, they can sound out many of the words I’m saying.
They are learning letter recognition and sound recognition. And I will occasionally witness them throughout the day quietly (pretend) reading a book out loud to themselves in a corner.
But unprompted, it’s rare that I hear them say the words we read. Yes, they’ll randomly throw out a “ducky”, “car”, “cup”, etc.
In general, though, I hear one word over and over and over:
Conversations in our apartment go something like this:
“Look out the window there, do you see that TRUCK?”
“Show me how you put all of the legos back in the tub!”
“Want to eat a snack?”
We’ve gotten to know the doormen in our building and they know our kids well by now. As soon as I stroll our stroller into the hallway when we’re heading out, the kids start yelling bye. The doormen can tell it’s us coming off the elevator because P immediately starts chanting as we step foot in the lobby, “Bye bye! Bye! Byeee!”. Everyone we pass, unless they have headphones in, smiles and says bye back to him. He relishes the attention.
I guess I could interpret this to mean they have a really bad case of cabin fever right now (I certainly do, thanks to our first taste of an east coast winter). P’s favorite thing is to bring me my boots and cry for me to help put them on him. Then, when he gets them on, wander around the apartment saying, (what else?) “BYE!”
But bye is an easy word to say. And other than Mama, Dada and doggie, one of the first words that they attached a meaning to. Bye means to go, leave, tell someone you are outta here. And they’re having a lot of fun doing that right now, especially in the hallways of our apartment. They love to wrangle their way out of our arms and knock on our neighbors’ doors saying “BYE!”.
Below, pictures of their favorite activity: running around proclaiming their favorite word to the world. Here’s hoping this next month brings a few new favorites into there vernacular.