Heidi October 11th, 2008
I’m so excited.
Over the past month, Bubbers’ expressive language has absolutely exploded!
Every day he learns to say 2-5 new words and as near as I can count, he’s up to over 100 words now.
I can’t tell you how much this fascinates and thrills me.
I mean, I hoped this would happen at some point.
But I didn’t know how rewarding it would be when it finally did.
You see, back when he was a baby, I knew in my head that talking his ear off and using all the principles I’d learned in my training was good for him and would help him learn language and develop cognitive skills.
But when you’re alone all day with a baby who doesn’t talk back, it can be difficult to maintain motivation to carry on a one-sided conversation.
And easy to start thinking that maybe it doesn’t matter.
So I had to constantly remind myself that it did matter.
And even though I couldn’t see the effects of my efforts now, I would someday.
Fortunately over time, it became a habit that no longer required effort.
And I no longer wondered if people thought I was a loony head for explaining to my 6-month-old child how to pick out bananas in the grocery store or how to use the self-checkout system in the library.
It became part of who I was and how I mothered.
And I had to train myself not to expect any responses from him.
In fact, I responded for him!
Things began to change.
And he began to talk back!
And he automatically said the things I used to say for him!
And suddenly he had this sweet little voice and cute intonation patterns that I love and want to hear all day long.
A little voice that you will likely be hearing a lot of from now on. :)
Like the current little Bubbers at 17 months, 3 weeks old saying some of my favorite words:
1) Thank you, Please, Love you, Bye-bye
2) Our nap and bedtime ritual of saying goodbye before we leave the room.
(Typically repeated about 10 times before I finally force myself to close the door. And then repeated through the door another 10 times):
Bye-bye, Night-night, Love you
I’ve also been keeping close tabs on his speech sounds and the errors he makes.
Like how he deletes the final consonant of words like most kids his age.
This error often persists until a child is 2 1/2 years old, so I wasn’t worried about treating it.
But it never fails.
One thing I love about watching Bubbers develop is how he always takes me by surprise.
Every kid is different, there’s a wide range of normal and you never know exactly what to expect.
And the last thing I expected this last Tues., Oct. 7, was for Bubbers to suddenly produce his first consistent final consonants!!
I love seeing this amazing development come alive before my eyes.
Especially when it’s not what I expect.
Like the fact that Bubbers’ first final consonant was the /s/ in “bus”!
In my head, final /s/ wasn’t even on the radar.
/t/, /d/ or /m/ maybe.
But not /s/.
Some kids develop it early, but most don’t accurately produce it until well after 2 or 3 years of age.
So that’s what I had expected.
And as usual, Bubbers threw me a fun curve ball.
And here’s the very first day he ever said it:
Amazingly, he’s already improved in just a few days.
It sounds almost normal now without the distortion and effort he used to have.
What an absolutely magical miracle this all is!
(And because I couldn’t resist).
(Here are two more clips I love of us driving in the car):