Baby M is really on a roll lately. I'm going to have to stop calling him "Baby M" soon. Maybe.
About a month ago he said his first words ("tam" - there, and "bye-bye") after using a couple of different signs for a few months before that. He understands the signs that we use, but tends to use "more" as a catch-all. Makes for a guessing game when he signs MORE and hasn't had anything - more what?? His preferred communication method, however, is usually a little more direct.
For instance, if he wants to nurse he picks up the pillow and hands it to me. When I'm out of the room and he is really desperate, he hands the pillow to the Slovak, looking at him like "If you really loved me, you would figure out a way, FATHER."
Also, if he wants to read a book he does one of the following: hands it to you, starts chewing pieces off of it, hits you with it, or occasionally uses the "book" sign. All these methods are equally valid. And frequent, actually, because in the past couple of months he has fallen in love with books and being read to. Surprising attention span for 15 months, too.
He tries to say "up" to be picked up, as well as repeating many words we say. He also seems to have picked up on shaking his head for no and nodding for yes, which he uses to its full extent.
M only says a handful of words, maybe five total? But what is striking is his comprehension, especially compared with our first child at his age.
He has been pointing to his nose on request for a while - in fact once he learned how, he did it all the time because we were always so pleased (That's right, that's your nose, good job!). I would look down at random and notice him pointing to his nose and grinning a big over-achieving grin like "Look what I can do! Are you still impressed?"
Then this week he pointed to his nose, eyes, ears, head, belly, hands and feet - in English and Slovak both. I was sure he would only know one or two in Slovak, but I watched as Apo went through the whole list with him. When they finished that, I asked M to get me his car, so he crossed the room and found a car for me.
We nearly declared him a boy genius right then and there, but then we remembered this is the same child who thinks the garbage can is a snack container.
This may not seem like a very impressive list of words, but our babies are late talkers. With K, it took a very long time for her even to understand what we were saying to her, much less communicate something back to us. For M it seems to come a little easier, a little faster.
He does all the motions for "patty-cake" and lifts his shirt when you say "Round and round the garden". Then he makes you do them 8 more times with him. Generally he's getting the point of games and basic pretend play. Last week he carried a box of animals (dinosaurs and sharks mostly) from K's room into the living room and proceeded to play with them for most of the day. He is also very partial to K's My Little Ponies. Part of having a big sister, I guess.
He is entering an exciting stage, decoding and starting to reproduce what he hears. Soon he'll have a real language explosion and the real fun will begin. The Chillest Baby Ever has just become the Chillest Toddler Ever.