Yesterday was a big day here in the Oscarelli household. Yesterday marked the very first time in the history of his entire life that Miles William responded to me in the affirmative. I asked him if he wanted a snack, and he said, "Yeah." And then I said, "Did you just say 'Yeah?'" and Miles slapped on his devilish grin and said, "Yeah!" and then I kissed his cute little face about a thousand times and tickled his belly until he was red with laughter.
And then I got him a snack.
I realize you may be thinking, "Isn't six-weeks shy of two-years-old a bit late to be saying 'yes' or a variation of 'yes?'"
The answer is no, or I don't know, or I don't care. I have no concerns about the speed of Miles William's speech and language development. He's been totally on par developmentally. At just under two, has 50 to 75 words; can follow directions; identify shapes and animals in pictures; makes multiple animal sounds; has been using two word phrases for a couple of months; and just last week started saying full three and four word phrases. Miles does not/has never talked as much or as articulately as Oscar, but Oscar is a little above the curve as far as verbal skills and I think Miles is firmly in the middle.
So why no "yes?" I don't know. Prior to yesterday, to convey the idea of "yes," Miles would say "No!" emphatically while smiling. He's been doing this consistently for like three or four months. I don't think he was being contrary, I think he just thought "no" was the standard response to question, "Do you want X?" and by smiling, he'd indicate when the "x" was correct. Almost like he thought that attitude was the key component to his response. This smiling no worked has worked so well for so long, I think he just didn't feel the need to say "yes." Why would he? He was getting what he wanted.
Watching kids acquire language is by far one of my favorite parts of parenting, especially after having a second child and seeing how differently language acquisition has been for each boy. Oscar was always very precise. Often when he learned a new word, he'd repeat it back and forth with me until he had the pronunciation correct. As a result, he's had almost none of the jargon you normally see in a toddler/preschooler. He's also been interested in things like, when to use could, would, or should; and sentence structure. It is also really common for Oscar ask what words mean, and to keep asking until he figures out how to use the word correctly.
Miles has been different. His speech acquisition has been more sudden, and he has lots of jargon. People who are around him a lot can understand him, but to strangers his speech sounds like nonsense. Oscar actually understands Miles the best and often translates for his little brother. I've recently noticed his words.taking more form; "pah-see-toe" (Popsicle) is becoming "pah-sit-al" and "skee-ee" (scary) is becoming "sca-dee."
While the process of acquiring speech has felt longer with Miles, it all seems to happen at once. Like he went from five words to 20 in a day, or something, but not until he was 20 months. I almost think he has a lot more words than he says out loud and he's holding them in so that when he finally does say them they have maximum impact. For example, last week, he said, "I sit in wagon with Xaiver." Up until that point, he'd only been using two or three word phrases and then BAM! Six! Describing an action! And yesterday he said to me, "I see a monster truck. It's big." A two sentence mini conversation. Where'd that come from? And as soon as he started doing these things he does them all the time.
My boys are still young so I still have several more year to watch them learn language. I love it. You can almost see the gears in their little heads turning as they figure things out, put things together. And language is just the beginning. Nelson and I are both big science nerds, so I was thinking how cool it's going to be when they start learning about physics and chemistry and biology. They are just going to keep learning and learning and learning. It makes you realize that the human brain is really amazing.
What do you love watching your kids learn and/or do? What are you looking forward to wasting them learn as they get older?