We've been experiencing an avalanche of verbal dexterity from Tom this past few weeks - all of it the sort of stuff that kids who are two-and-a-bit do and their parents think is the cutest ever (because it is) - and all of it music to our ears.
Tom is our only child - our first go at this parenting lark so I often wonder whether we would be as agog, as obsessed anyway but, with the importance of his language development being so sharply focused in our minds because of his deafness, every little step feels like a major landmark to be celebrated. So here are a few anecdotes recorded for posterity.
I've got into the habit of asking Tom what he's been up to at the childminder's. Last week he told me very clearly:
'Tom-Tom walking holding Karen's hand. Louisa-May in the buggy'.
How much information is that? Not much of a thrilling narrative I grant you but it stuck in his mind and was the most important thing to tell me when I asked. I checked with Karen; it was all true.
Tom doesn't always stick to the literal however, and that makes following the thread of his conversation a little more challenging. Last week, completely unprompted, he named his hands 'Harry' and 'Trevor' after his two favourite cuddly toys. It wasn't a one off either; Harry and Trevor have made subsequent appearances at mealtimes, helping Tom with his fork and spoon as necessary. They even have to have chairs pulled up for them - which makes me think they're evolving into fully fledged imaginary friends. I'll keep you posted about their movements.
One of the pieces of advice from AV Therapy that has stayed with me relates to the importance of staying in Tom's 'head space' - as a parent you can usually tell from context what your toddler is thinking about and, therefore, likely to be saying (hence why parents understand their offspring when everyone else thinks its nonsense). With Tom its getting less straightforward. Admittedly 90% of the time it's trains, cars and/or 'airplanes' but that other 10% can take us shooting off anywhere.
The night before last, for example. We were reading a Bob the Builder book at bed time. Bob was chatting to his completely platonic friend, assistant and project manager Wendy across a double page spread. Tom started to turn the page and it creased in a little overlapping the facing pages,
'Bob and Wendy kissing' and he burst into a fit of giggles.... and repeated the fold over and over, as we both giggled merrily to ourselves. I think all the time he spends around little girls at the childminder's might have something to do with that one.
The list goes on...suffice it to say we're as proud and as obsessed with everything our child says and, maybe by writing it here I won't feel the need to tell absolutely everyone I meet.