Just before we left on our vacation, Jet’s language skills, especially with pronunciation, regressed. Her Aunt correctly identified this as a symptom of an approaching language explosion. Jet’s vocabulary had increased dramatically around 18 months (as expected at that age,) but her ability to use words was about to undergo a similar transformation. I returned to a new and improved version of toddler speak.
“Read this Gramma please!” Jet demanded, stringing 4 words into a sentence. Her understanding of when and how to use words socially such as “please” had also improved. Later that day she climbed up next to me, snuggled close and looked up with a cherubic expression on her face. “Hi!” she said. “Hi!” I was, of course completely charmed. Next, she responded to my sneeze with a very sincere “bless you!” Her afternoon snack elicited a polite “thank you” as she took it from my hand.
Jet mastered a number of pronouns in my absence as well. In response to a question from her Aunt, “Whose keys are those?” Jet answered “yours!” and included a “what, don’t you know?” look for good measure. She was clearly baffled by our excitement over the use of the word. Her understanding of pronouns accompanied an increased awareness of self. At least once each day, Jet likes to make a circuit of the living room to point out photos of family members. Only 10 days earlier, her own photos were referred to generically as “babies.” Now, she identifies them with her own name.
The adoption and ease of use of other new words has increased as well. “That’s dangerous,” I told her when she started banging on a glass. “It could break and hurt you!”
“Dangereusssss,” she repeated “danguerous, dangeureuss.” She clearly liked the feel of it in her mouth.
“Yes, dane ger us,” I confirmed. “You have to be careful with glass.”
As she ate her lunch I heard her experiment with another new word she had apparently picked up when I chastised the dog for swiping her snack cracker. “Shame, Marcy, shame, shame shame!” she said.
The dog had been eyeing her chicken, but I’d better start watching what I say!