Marko's language development has been amazing lately. It's been quite a surprise to me that language doesn't develop linearly -- instead it goes in sudden leaps and bounds. Which is why you always hear about kids who didn't speak a word till two and then started talking in sentences. Once those brain connections are made and they want to say something, they pick up words at a lightning pace.
It would be impossible to count the number of words Marko knows now. I joke that he knows them all. At any rate, he knows all the names of things he sees regularly and things he likes to do. He doesn't get adverbs at all, though. When I say to pet the kitty nicely, he thinks "nice" is a verb that means "to half pet, half hit." Ah well.
Lately he's begun to talk in sentences, though not usually original ones. He just mimics whole sentences that we use, like "Mama do it," "Grab the dog," "Mama kiss Daddy." His original sentences are more sparse: "Walk in street," "Eat crackers," "Marko's mousie." But he's certainly on his way to communicating everything he wants to.
That doesn't mean he always does use his words to communicate, though. Sometimes he just says "Mama do it, Mama do it," and when I say, "Mama do what?" he melts onto the floor in a puddle of frustration. When he's really upset, he can't speak at all. He clearly wants something and is frustrated that we don't understand him, but he's screaming too hard to pronounce anything. He certainly throws more tantrums than he did a month or two ago. Now that he's 18 months, he's very aware that what he wants doesn't always jive with what we want, and he's harder to distract. On the bright side, though, he does understand "no." Sometimes he still does the thing, but sometimes he just starts to throw a fit. In other words, he's thinking, "I want to touch that outlet, but Mama said no, so I CAN'T. I'm so upset!" But he is obeying, which is what matters (especially where outlets are concerned!).
I have always liked to sing to him. I have fun with changing the words of songs to fit our circumstances: "You've got to change your evil ways" becomes "We've got to change your stinky dipe," and "It's business time" becomes "It's sleepy time." He likes his songs. He's stopped liking many "grown-up" songs though: he prefers songs he understands the words of, like "Wheels on the Bus" and "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep." Our compromise is Jonathan Coulton. We both like him. His favorite is "Code Monkey," and he often surprises me by knowing the lyrics. The other day he was talking to himself and I couldn't figure out WHAT he was saying, until finally I realized he was saying, "Code monkey is a simple man, with big warm fuzzy secret heart." He calls the song "Code monkey like you." It's very cute.
He's not tone-deaf, either. On Wednesday, he was being a real crab, so I let him sit on my lap and watch the Muppets on YouTube. We found one of Kermit singing "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," but when I realized it was just a fan-made dub instead of the real Kermit, I moved on. I guess we watched about 30 seconds of it. On Friday, he was lying on my bed saying "Nap" so I sang, "Nap-nap-nappin' on Mama's bed." He immediately leaped up and headed for the living room, saying, "Watch a movie?" I was pretty impressed.
I am so proud of his recent achievements. I have a smart kid. I will use that to comfort me over the fact that he's still not sleeping worth a darn. Ah well, we can't have everything, can we?