It's been a while since it's gotten any mention on here, even though it is a huge part of our day, every day.
What can I say? We are a loud family. We like to debate and discuss and just connect after our respective days at work (or home-work, in my case) ... And while Malcolm isn't jumping right in just yet, I do feel like he is (finally!?) moving in that direction ...
In an effort to "let things run their course" and to simply "happen" I have made a very conscious effort to just let Malcolm be Malcolm. I haven't been pushing him in any particular direction in regards to his communicative capabilities ... And while he still enjoys watching his Signing Time DVDs (and, holy cow, does that boy like his signs! We're up to about fifty that he uses frequently), I haven't been introducing any new episodes to the mix as of lately.
Since I am able to meet his needs and wants based on the signs he already knows (usually these needs and wants consist of "crackers" or "cookies" or "milk"), I figured the lack of new signs might promote the use of new (verbal) words ... And while that seems to be happening, little by little, it could all just be a "timing" thing, too. I was reading some language development literature and found that many boys do not even utter a first word until about 22 months of age ...
This puts Malcolm ahead of that curve.
But, whether or not that is norm for boys, this whole "talking" thing has made for is really a fun roller coaster ride ...
It's fun as a parent to see your child learn, to pick up new material in front of your eyes ... Which has definitely been the case with Malcolm's signing. Not only does he seem to have an aptitude for it (sometimes he'll randomly throw out a sign that we haven't seen on the videos in ages ... His memory seems to be pretty good), you can tell that he enjoys it. Just ask him to sign any collection of words and he'll quickly move his little hands into position.
It's also fun to hear words, as jumbled and mispronounced as they may be, coming to the forefront as well. We've been hearing "Mama" and "Dada" for months now, but new things like "owl" or "duck" and phrases like "Oh, no!" are a welcome change.
A cute story to elaborate (and it won't hurt to put it in writing, either) ...
Pieces from an alphabet puzzle have gone missing recently and, just yesterday, Malcolm was wandering around the living room with a flashlight muttering "ay-bee" to himself as he searched under the furniture. He kept saying it, "ay-bee, ay-bee, ay-bee" over and over ... It was obviously more than just random syllables. Finally, once he had given up on his search and moved to some other activity, I figured out that his would-be babbling was actually a reference to the missing letters (or "ABCs," as we often call them) ...
He was looking for the "ay-bees."
(I'm not sure why he's neglecting the "c.")
As always, it is so thrilling for me to see those wheels turning ... To know that my son's brain is actively working, thinking about something, and putting it into (albeit partial) words.
It really is only a matter of time before the dam breaks and we can't get him to shut up ...
So, while he probably won't have the twenty words the doctor is looking for at his 2-year appointment, he will have some progress to speak of ... And as much as my husband likes to joke about Malcolm "being headed for the speech van," he might just surprise us.
He usually does.