Monday, January 7, 2013

Language Explosion

Sixteen months has been an amazing time for language development.

Calliope is suddenly repeating everything I say. And she comes up with some surprising words when I least expect it.

Today's new words include both "teeth" and "sneeze." Neither of these were at the top of my list for "words to teach my child." But she's just observing everything that everyone says around her, and apparently these were the ones that interested her today.

She also asked today, out of the blue, "Yie Yie Yo" for E-I-E-I-O as in, for the song. Without prompting. Pretty cool!

She makes these noises now that I once treated as babble, but at least half the time, are intentional and meant to be words... though I don't always figure out what she's trying to say.

She's also signing a lot, but remembers (and slightly mis-remembers) signs from our signing video when I have no idea what they mean.

It's amazing to watch. I'm so, so happy we've done the sign language. Most words she either uses sign language or spoken words, not both, and she's been signing meaninfully since before she could speak. The "hungry," "more," "water," and "all done" signs have definitely simplified our lives incredibly and surely headed up tantrums when I would've otherwise been clueless as to what she wanted.

Here she is, well, was last month, signing "change me" (plus "belly" at the end).

Her favorite songs right now are "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," and "Itsy Bitsy Spider." For both, she starts making approximately appropriate hand gestures and crooning wordlessly in unspeakably high pitches. Very, very funny. I keep trying to catch it on video but she tends to stop when she sees the camera.


  1. That's great! I try to imagine Annelise being able to do that in 5 months and I just don't think she'll be there. Right now the only real word that she uses consistently is "Izzy". You've inspired me to work more with signing and while I try she seems to be making up her own signs. It's been interesting. What signing video do you use? I really want work more with her because I'm afraid her speech my be delayed and I don't want her to be frustrated by not being able to communicate.

  2. All you with speaking toddlers, I'm jealous!! I've dubbed Elena's speech as "Elenaglish" as she has quite the vocab, I just don't understand what she's saying a lot of the time!! Some stuff I've deciphered but a lot is in her intonation of the same sound..."cookie" sounds very close to "cheese" which sounds very close to "teeth"! I wish I hadn't been so lazy & had done the sign language