As promised, here’s some info about where Amy is speech-wise. She’s doing great in the noun department. She can identify well over a hundred (maybe even two hundred) different objects in books by pointing, and say maybe a third of the names if Cindy or I point first. Richard Scarry books are great for this, though I find his drawing style kind of annoying. Some notable categories include:

  • Animal names and sounds – cow, horse, sheep, rooster, cat, dog, owl, camel, etc.. Thanks to Sandra Boynton she still thinks pigs say “la la la” and “duck” is one of her favorite words but “quack” doesn’t seem to have made the cut.
  • Body and face parts – eye, ear, nose, mouth, finger, thumb, hand, elbow, knee, foot, toe, etc. A drawn-out “eyyyyyye” is a favorite (though it might also be a form of “hi”) and “cheek” is one of the newer additions. She still responds to “lips” by putting her hand up to her mouth and doing a “ba-ba-ba” kind of thing sometimes, but not as consistently as she used to. While they’re not actually body parts, “shoe” and “sock” are still on the list and “shirt” has made a recent appearance.
  • Foods – ham, cheese, peas, salad (“sa-za”), and others. “Bab-izh” is her word for both cabbage and batteries. “Soup” refers to anything in a mug, including coffee, and is sometimes hard to distinguish from “soap” which is also a favorite.

Amy doesn’t have nearly as many verbs as nouns. She knows eat, sleep, and sit. She also uses open (“ope”) but I’m not sure whether it’s as an imperative verb or an adjective. She doesn’t have a ton of prepositions either, though some that she does have are notable. She likes both up and down (“dow”) and says both quite emphatically but doesn’t seem too clear on the difference. “Off” is common, meaning both that a light is on and she wants it off or vice versa, but “on” is rare. As with some of the other words, the terminal “n” is absent. Other notable categories:

  • Colors – blue (“boo”), yellow (“la-low”), green (“gee”) and purple (“puh-puh”). Blue is tricky, because “balloon” and “bow” are pronounced almost exactly the same way.
  • Numbers – surprisingly, she seems to know at least up to six. We have a “Five Little Monkeys” book and she’s quick to point out that mama makes six. She also seems to know “eight” but not where it fits in.
  • Letters – B, M, N, O, S, X, and Z are all clearly recognized, though S sounds like “ass” and X sounds like a hairball.
  • Please (“pzzz”) and thank you (“ta-go”).

I can’t think of any adjectives (other than colors) or adverbs that Amy knows, off the top of my head. There might be a couple, but in general it seems like those come later. I expect she’ll be putting words together soon, at least to the level of “yellow duck” and such, and then on to sentences. She clearly gets a kick out of being able to communicate at least somewhat, and she’s quite a show-off when it comes to showing that she can recognize multiple objects of the same type. The last couple of nights, for example, she has made quite a show of going back and forth from my office to my closet, pointing to the tiger on a book cover and the panther on a sweatshirt, clearly excited at having recognized them both as cats.

I’d love to get video or audio of some of these, particularly “lips” and “umbrella” which both involve use of the hands, but I keep running into the Heisenbaby Effect: the act of trying to record a moment for posterity causes the moment to be aborted as the recording device becomes the focus of attention. If I want to catch something I have to do it surreptitiously.