We’ve been witnessing a lot of magic moments around here recently.
For months and months and months, we’ve been talking to Anna like she can understand us. It’s a one-way conversation through the day that goes something like this:
“Anna! Are you hungry? Do you want to eat? Do you like your carrots? Hand me your block, please. Where’s your blanky? Do you have a poopy diaper? How about we take a bath!”
In return to our barrage of question and statements, we’ve usually received a blank stare or perhaps a smile.
A few weeks ago, Anna changed the game a little bit. Now, we’re having magic moment after magic moment. She’s understanding us! And, she’s communicating back! It’s unbelievable. I mean seriously people, this is why being a parent is totally worth it!
We first realized that Anna was understanding us when she started saying “Num Num Num” every time we mentioned food. It goes like this:
“Anna? Do you want to eat some breakfast?”
Her response: “NUM NUM NUM NUM NUM!!!”
Now, whenever we’re close to a meal time, or mention the words breakfast, lunch, dinner, eat, food, milk, or water…she responds like she hasn’t eaten in days. The num num hum has become LOUDER and LONGER and includes fist banging at times. It’s adorable, and we probably only encourage it with our delighted laughter.
We also realized that Anna knows most of the names of toys in her toy basket. It began when I simply asked her to hand me the monkey, and when she did. Then, I started to ask for the rest of her toys. “Hand me the ball, Anna! Hand me the block, Anna! Hand me the dolly, Anna!” I was testing her, and she blew me away.
I realize she’s probably doing exactly what toddlers should be learning to do around her age…it’s just that I’m fascinated by the whole process! And, I suppose I’m also just very encouraged. After carrying on a one way conversation for months, we now see she’s been listening. It’s wonderfully exciting and gratifying.
A question for other parents out there- when did your kids start using baby sign language? We’ve been trying to teach a few signs to Anna since she was about 7-8 months old, but so far she’s not signing back. Now that I know she can understand a lot of what we say, I’m really anxious to see her start using her signs.