At each visit to the pediatrician, the nurse goes through a checklist of skills the child should be able to accomplish at that age. For example, at 6 months, Helen should be able to sit up. At a year, they ask about walking or feeding herself. Basic stuff, really - and if she's not doing certain things, that's a red flag that they look at to figure out why or what could be slowing down progress in that area.
This last appointment, the nurse asked if Helen had any words. "You know, four to ten words?" I stared at her. "She got, like, FORTY words." "Okay."
When I mentioned this to the doctor, she said that was good. "It's a sign of intelligence," she told me.
Oh no, it's not, lady! It's a sign that I won't get a word in edgewise for the next 18 years, that's what it is. Sign of intelligence. Ha! I gave birth to a chatterbox. I know it, and now you know it.
We can understand what Helen says in context. If she's pointing at her toys, saying "Beh" - that's bear. If she's pointing at the refrigerator, sayiing "Bah-bah" - that's bottle. If she says "Ba-by" - she wants her baby doll. If she says "Baaaaa" - chances are really good that I just asked her what a sheep says.
Sometimes she pops up with a new words and really surprises me. The new one this week is "bite."
At our daycare, parents have to sign an Ouch Report if a child was bitten during the day. It says what was happening when she was bitten (i.e., Helen took a toy away from another child) and what they did afterwards (i.e., hugs, ice, etc.) There's another report to sign if she's the biter. So far, I've only gotten the Ouch Report in her tenure at this daycare, but something's up lately, because it's been twice in two days.
I can always tell when it's time for her to move to the next room, because all of the kids turn into sharks and start biting each other. It's like they're sick of the toys, the kids, the teachers - get me out of here! *chomp*
Anyway, when I picked her up on Monday, I looked at the mark on her arm and she pointed to it and said, "bite." I know it's a new word, and I'm happy for her learning so much, but this isn't quite what I had in mind.