Thursday, September 08, 2005

first words

At Jacqui's last doctor appointment, I reported with no small amount of worry that she hadn't started talking yet. That was at 15 months, and the doctor told me that as long as she had 3 words by her 18th month, she was on track.

She definitely understands the concept of words relating to objects and actions. She can point to almost anything we name, and if we ask her to get something she generally does. She does not have any symptoms of autism, and we're not even entertaining that as a possibility.

She'll be 18 months in one week.

It feels like I am being tested here. Ever since August 17, I've been counting down the weeks and now days til she's 18 months old. We've even been cramming -- we always read a lot of books together, but now. NOW we've gotten desperate, and for the past couple of weeks I've been doing the unthinkable:

I've been turning on the television.

We don't turn it on every day, and it stays on public television. Mostly we only watch Sesame Street -- she enjoys some other shows too, but they don't hold her attention the way Sesame Street does. She'll sit with me on the sofa or by herself in her little rocking chair, drinking her milk. Sometimes she gets so excited that she rushes up to the television (there's a hassock in front of it so that she can't get too close) and dances!

And today, she spoke her first real word (my personal criteria being that it wasn't "mamamama" or "dadadada", and she was able to repeat it) while we were out in public, in front of witnesses! Jacqui and my mom and I were in Babies -R- Us drooling over all of the tiny baby clothes. We wandered over to the toy section, and because we are who we are, my mom and I had to push all the buttons to make the toys sing and dance. And when Jacqui saw that red furry muppet with the annoying voice -- you know the one -- the one who only has to say his name to make every hearing adult cringe in nails-across-the-blackboard pain, she yelled.

Melllmo!! Melllmo!!

We played with the singing, dancing Elmo dolls for a long time with her, and then she focused on a little soft ball, instead. We bought the ball but not the doll, and that was fortuitous. Because after we left the baby store, we walked into K-Mart (I'm not too proud to admit it) for some toiletries, and there he was again, and she did it AGAIN:


So we bought her a talking Elmo doll. He's actually pretty cute -- he's a Going to the Doctor Elmo, and he sneezes and he has a heartbeat and he's got a bandage on his toe.

And I don't mind his voice so much, lately, either.