Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Ka-Boom!

There's a phase in toddler development that's referred to in many of our books as "the language explosion". It comes when a toddler has grasped roughly 50 or so words, and usually sometime in the 18 month-30 month age range. At that point, the toddler makes some necessary mental connections and suddenly goes from learning a couple of words per week to learning as many as 5-10 per day. From there, it's a pretty quick transition to short sentences and the real beginnings of language. The details can vary significantly from child to child.

It looks like we've entered that phase now with David. All of a sudden, in the last few days he's started picking up new words a lot quicker, and when we give a word to him he parrots it back quickly, and then will start trying to associate it. He's also gotten a lot more playful with some of his pre-speech. For instance, yesterday Jane got him to say "Margie" (her mom's name). He kept repeating it back to her when she said it. Then, she called her mom up on the phone to tell her about this new accomplishment. And she asked him to say "Margie" while she was on the phone. You know what he said?

He said "No", shook his head, and giggled at her. And he wouldn't say "Margie" again until after Jane hung up the phone. I think he's discovered the joys of being a practical joker, too.

Tonight, we went and met friends down at the Burlington Mall. At one point, Jane was inside a restaurant with them while I was out in the mall proper - he'd gotten tired of eating and was tossing things so we decided a separation was in order. I had that duty tonight.

Anyhow, we went out into the mall, near the entrance. And as people were walking by out the door, he kept waving at them and hollering "Bye!".

Most of them happily waved back.

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