Not too long ago, I was feeling a bit worried about Alex’s development. My concern was that he wasn’t developing, verbally, as fast as I thought he should be. Shouldn’t all babies at 17 months of age be able to say cup, doggie, cat? He lacks the ability to make the “c” sound, and I really just want him to have more words and less sounds that represent words.
He calls dogs “woof” and grapes “meep” and elephants are the sound that your lips make when air blows through them. Monkeys are “ah ah ooh ooh” and swimming is the same as water: “wa wa”. A penguin waddles, so clearly a penguin is “wada wada wada.”
When I casually brought up my concern to Zach, and he in turn mentioned it to my Mom, they both told me that I was, well, crazy. And just plain wrong. The number of words, or word approximations, that Alex makes is quite substantial.
The surely incomplete list of the words he either says or has his own “word” for: Mama, Dada, Daddy, Gramma, Nana, Big D, Kathy, Jackson the dog, Dog, Elephant, Mine, Monkey, Water, Up, Help, Cheese, Eye, Nose, No, Fish, Grapes, Wind/Air, Car, Truck, Bus, People, Baby, Belly Button, Bowl, Banana, Apple, Cow, Bunny, Ow, Heat, Book, Wolf, Dirty, Cheese, More, Yummy/NomNom, Cold, Shoes, Knee, Tickle, Bye Bye, Hi, Uh-Oh, Swimming, Sun, Moon, Penguin, Toes…
He even uses the occasional two word sentence. “More ___” is the most common.
It’s amazing the difference between what he can say and what he understands. His comprehension is easily hundreds of words, while he can probably only say around fifty. He can point to his head, eyes, ears, hair, nose, mouth, teeth, cheeks, belly, knees, feet and hands. Pointing to his nose is my favorite, though. When I tell him to “go tickle Daddy” he runs over and tickles Zach. When I ask him to give someone a specific toy, he finds the toy and brings it to that person. If he’s in the mood, of course.
So, my concern was unnecessary. I think I suffer from the paranoid-that-something-is-wrong syndrome of a first time Mama. He is fine. Maybe even better than fine.