We come in from running errands and stop in the mudroom. "Let's take off your coat, Molly girl!" I say.
"Co?" she repeats.
"Yup, your coat. Let's hang it up. And your shoes! Let's put them away, too."
"Shooos? [pointing] Baa?"
"That's right! Your shoes go in the basket!"
"Shooos! Inna baa! Co! Co! Shoooos! YAAAAAAYYYYYY!" And she claps and she dances and she celebrates because....
And she is proud.
Evan was a "late" talker. He exclusively used sign language to communicate until he was well over two years old. Well, sign language and First Born-ese, which is a form of communication involving blinking and pointing that stay-at-home parents of First Born Children can understand because we spend all day tending to the wants and needs of our one and only child. Evan was not a babbler, but when he did speak his first true word, "backhoe," it was quickly followed by a complete sentence.
Max, on the other hand, never really used the signs he learned. From the beginning, he was a talker. He had always been a noise-maker, verbalizing and babbling and making animal sounds and humming and singing, and otherwise making his voice be heard. But he was just over a year old when he said his first unsolicited word...."fish," while looking at the fish tank at the library. And he hasn't stopped talking since....
Molly, true to form, is shaping up to fall somewhere right between her two big brothers. She has been playing with sounds and words for awhile now, and the girl definitely knows how to make her voice be heard. But over the past two weeks or so, she has been Talking for Real.
She'll imitate just about anything you say to her and knows almost all animal sounds, in fact, she even knows what the fox says. Her current Spontaneous Word repertoire includes words or word approximations for: mommy, daddy, Evan, Max, Molly, Mom Mom, Pop, Uncle Mike, shoes, coat, hat, gloves, kitty, baby (she'll point to a baby and say, in a gravelly voice, "maa-maa"), dog, juice, LaLa (for Lalaloopsies), book, bear, yes, no, stop, go, socks, pocket, tickle, sky, star, twinkle, car, truck, big, bow, bus, and....well, bum and toot. She does have two potty-talk-obsessed big brothers, you know.
Between her new words, her new lip-smacking kisses, the way she plays pretend, the way she hugs so tight, the way she holds my hand when we walk, the way she plays with her big brothers, and the way she crosses her arms, sticks out her bottom lip, and pouts when she doesn't get her way, she reminds me every day how much I love this stage...
There's beauty and wonder in every age, but one and a half to three has to be one of my favorites....