Learning to Talk

“My son knows 150 words,” another mother told me. Her son is 19 months old.

I was a bit flummoxed. “Wow, you’re competitive,” didn’t seem like the best response. “Hmm, that’s sure to get him into Harvard,” wouldn’t quite work, either. I settled for, “Wow, I don’t think I could keep track.” 

“Yeah, we kinda lost track after 100, but now it’s 150.”

I realize that comparisons are stupid, but she did get me wondering. How many words does Sophie know? More than 20, probably. Daddy, Momma, kitty-cat, water (wawa), car, truck (duck), choo-choo (train), no, uh-oh, bye-bye, nighty-night, hi, hello, Macy (her best friend), up, ow, nose, eyes, ears, lips, hair, hat, shoes, socks, off, hot, what’s that (pronounced “dat”), park, dog, bird, ball, milk (pronounced mill), wow, hooray, moon, more (sometimes repeated as more-more in a way that sounds like Momma), bubbles, balloon, and baby: those are her regular words, lately, and now that I write them down I see that there really are more than 20 of them. And it’s kind of neat how that list pretty much sums up her world right now, at least the world that she’s interested in. Hat and ball are especially important to her at the moment.

She still overextends words. For her, “eyes” means not only eyes, but usually eye-glasses, especially sunglasses.

She’ll respond appropriately to lots of phrases – “Get the ball, please.” “Where’s the butterfly?” “Let’s go outside” and, especially, “Sophie, can I have a hug?” — but she doesn’t say most of those words, yet. 

For some reason, she knows “blue” but not other colors.

And my biggest disappointment is that right now she knows “no” but not “yes.” When she wants to say “yes,” she just giggles.

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One response to “Learning to Talk

  1. Tracy

    Just to give you some perspective, by the time Meghan was 21 months she was learning her alphabet. She recognized all the letters but was limited by what sounds she could make. (Letters like X and H are hard to say.) By comparison Finn is 19 months and won’t talk! He nods yes and shakes his head no. He says “dat” for I want that or what is that. He also says “dat” as we go up or down each stair, because he’s trying to count. But he can’t say “Ma-ma” and only says “Da-da” if you ask him to. He uses some signs but mostly just points and whines. He also takes my hand and leads me to what he wants. When I ask him to say a word he turns his head to the side in this cute endearing way he has and just smiles shyly. What a difference between the two!

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