Of all the things that continue to amaze me every day about my gorgeous son, his developing language skills are possibly the most exciting. This week in particular he has been chatting away to anyone who will listen – very cute, and fascinating to be getting more of an insight into what’s going on inside that head of his!
I’ve lost count of the number of words he now knows – from octopus to helicopter, from banana to hedgehog. He’s a fantastic mimic, and seems to only need to hear the name for something once before he’ll remember it for next time. What’s particularly interesting at the moment though is how he uses those words, combining them with others to express his wants and needs or explain things to us. He’ll happily engage in conversation about what he’s been up to during the day, making our family dinners when Leigh gets home after a long day’s work increasingly entertaining.
He was being particularly chatty with his London grandparents on Skype the other evening, and it’s lovely to see him beginning to want to share his experiences with them – and to be able to put them into words.
In fact the sociability of his speech is something I’ve noticed increasing day by day. For a while he’d happily chat away to me when it was just us at home during the day, but other people – especially strangers – would comment on how quiet he was. But now he’ll chat to anyone who’ll listen – the man who came to fix our oven on Monday had trouble actually settling down to work as every time my back was turned Arthur had toddled over to tell him about something else he felt he had to share.
It’s not just people Arthur’s chatting to either. I absolutely love catching him having conversations with his toys – whether it’s his dump truck or his penguins. Even better than that are the conversations he’s started enacting between them, another important step in his discovery of imaginative play.
He’s begun to really pick up the less essential nuances of conversation too, which is where things get super cute. He’ll ‘ummm’ and ‘ahhh’ as he’s trying to think of the right thing to say, has started adding on ‘see you in a bit’ to his goodbyes and is even beginning to maybe see the point of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ – though I won’t hold my breath on that one.
It is incredible to watch, but I’m under no illusion that Arthur’s special in all this. I know that what I’m witnessing is just the normal development of language that is going on as I type in homes up and down the country, throughout the world. And yet actually that is even more humbling. All these little powerhouses of potential beginning to venture out of themselves into the big wide world of verbal communication, absorbing all the words around them and digesting them and manipulating them to fit the messages they want to put across. Amazing really – I can’t wait to hear what he comes out with next!