E’s first word at 6 months old was ‘Mumma’. ‘Dadda‘ followed about a month later and ‘(l)ook‘ at 9 months (seen here being put to good use pointing out trees in the park). When he had his 12 month development check the Health Visitor commented on how advanced his language was – he’d dropped ‘cat‘, ‘George‘ and ‘blueberries‘ casually into the conversation and when she left chirped ‘bye‘ and what sounded like ‘lady‘. We thought nothing of it until a few other mums with children the same age as E started showing concern at how few words their babies were saying.
It’s so easy to forget your baby’s ”firsts” and when trying to recall the first fruit he ate, steps he took or tooth he cut I know exactly which photograph to go back to. For speaking we have some video clips of E but I wanted to capture more of the whole picture around how E’s learning to communicate. The wordle above lists the words he knows to date and the order in which he learnt them (largest first, to smallest most recently). He understands many more words than this but these are the ones he says unprompted and acts upon independently. If you’d asked me how many words he knows I would have guessed around 20 but having spent the last week jotting them down he’s actually up to 50*. It seems the Health Visitor was right as this is more than would be expected for a child of his age.
This second wordle was created yesterday on his 15 month birthday and shows how frequently he uses his 50* words. On and off are his favourite words as he moves around the house pointing out the lights and begging to be lifted up to flip the switch (for some strange reason Wordle didn’t list them). He shouts Dadda at the slightest whisper of George being nearby. And Doddo and Billa, in case you were wondering are two of our cats, Poppet and Billy. The third cat Mikey has no name yet, just a finger wagged at him as E says ”no no no” because he’s always trying to steal his food.
It’s been so interesting seeing E’s language develop. I began baby signing with him when he was about 6 months old and he soon grasped that squeezing your fist open and closed, like milking a cow,was how to tell me he wanted some milk. He was very polite about it up until a month or so ago when he was ill with a prolonged cough and worked out tugging my top was a more immediate way of communicating! He’s stopped signing since he’s become more verbal and now says ‘‘two two’‘ if he wants milk (picked up from me saying ‘other side, always two’ when switching sides for his bedtime feed). I’m in awe of how baby brains grow and develop right before your eyes.
It’s only right that E should have the last word – if you were here in person to say ‘bye bye’ to it would be accompanied with a smacker planted firmly on the lips. Such a charmer!
* 63, forgot to add George, no, hiya, there, wee wee, peepo, wow, row, boot, tea, right way, upside down