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Lessons from my Daughter: Listen Closely, I'm Trying to Tell You Something

She's 14 months old now, and she tears it up all over the house. Climbing on furniture, getting in and out of her wagon, falling down and making messes as she goes. But we've been waiting to hear some words from her. She babbles quite a bit and we make sure to foster that, but we've been at a loss for hearing English coming out of her mouth. Lots of children say a few words around one year old, but some wait a longer period. I'm not worried per se, but honestly I've been hoping for better lines of communication.

But the other day, I noticed something. She and I had both been quite sick, passing some sort of virus back and forth between the two of us and her daycare class. I was feeling particularly miserable, just basically sitting around and doing very little. She exhibited increased energy and playfulness, and in the process she made concerted efforts to say the words "ball" and "bubbles". In addition, when I was getting ready for bed, I sat down on the floor to put on a pair of socks. She worked her way to my closet, grabbed another pair of my socks and brought them to me. "Thank you", I said, "But I already have a pair." She looked at me, sat down in my lap, handed me the socks and held up her foot for me to put them on her. Beautiful nonverbal communication!

When we're busy with life's duties or focused on our own drama, it can be easy to let little things like these pass under our noses without even noticing. I have been in a veritable funk regarding my persistent illness and inability to continue my new efforts at working on me. But if I hadn't slowed down and opened my eyes and ears, I wouldn't have realized that my daughter was doing exactly what I've been longing for.

Her new favorite word and favorite toy



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