Saturday, August 6, 2011

Toddler Understand More Than We Think :)

So today I got a lesson in just how much my toddler really does comprehend about the things around him. I've had this lesson a few times in the past week but this evenings was the most impressive. I guess I have been operating under the assumption that because Nicholas is basically non verbal he does not understand very much at all. After all if he did wouldn't he be talking. Haha, that is a terrible underestimation of a toddler! Talking doesn't equal an understanding of anything. A cashier in a store told me on Friday that she had read somewhere that late walkers and talkers were often more observant and had better concentration skills when they were older. I have no idea at all if that's true, I haven't been inclined to research it at all but I found it interesting that she, unlike our doctor, wasn't at all surprised that Nicholas wasn't talking at 18 months. I don't know that that is true really but I can see how Nicholas really IS observing and learning about the world all the time. Probably he's not unique in this but as he's the only toddler I've got much experience with haha, he's the only one I can talk about :P He's been doing things like responding to random phrases that I had no idea meant anything to him. For instance the phrase "Want to go bye bye" generates an instant response. He runs to you and wants you to pick him up or wants you to open a door for him. Very adorable unless you've happened to utter the phrase before you are truly ready to leave and now have to deal with a toddler clinging to your leg and fussing while you attempt to get everything you need together so you CAN leave. :p He recently also shocked me during story time by responding to my questions about his twinkle twinkle little star book "do you see the start? where is the star?" by cleverly pointing to and touching the star on the page. I almost dropped the book! YIKES! I didn't know you knew that!! Of course my response to him was more like " Oh that RIGHT!! Good Job! That's the Star!!" Amazing how such a small thing really equates into such a BIG thing when you realize that he's growing up more and more every day.

Today we took Nicholas to the beach again and spent a wonderful evening splashing in the water and digging in the sand. It was about 7pm when we decided to leave and so dinner out seemed like a good idea. It helped that I had found twenty dollars floating in the water near the shore and couldn't find an owner, so, (Yay), basically a free meal!! Ok, ok, so I didn't look tooooo hard for somebody who was missing a 20 but I looked around and there was nobody near and I figured if I walked down the beach to ask around somebody was bound to say yes whether it was really their 20 or not. Ya know? Anyway we needed a night out so maybe the sea gods were granting us one. We didn't go anywhere great, Denny's actually was the choice we made haha. I haven't eaten there since I lost an entire grand slam to "the sickness" while I was pregnant with Nicholas. Our waitress was very baby friendly and asked if she could bring us some crackers for Nicholas to munch on before our dinner arrived. YES! It makes looking at the menu much easier when he's occupied with something other than crayons that he's trying to shove in his eye or up his nose. I gave him a cracker which he shoved whole into his wide open mouth before snatching another. Adorable. I figured I'd notice if he had trouble and was in any danger of choking (and daddy's an EMT so he could deal with such an emergency) so I focused a bit on my menu. It wasn't long before the first two crackers had been eaten and next thing I know Nicholas is FURIOUS! Not because he didn't have another cracker but because he was ASKING for another cracker and I wasn't listening to him. I looked up to see him glaring at me then the crackers on the table, back to me and then very clearly signed CRACKER. OMG!!!!! NO freakin' way!! Honey did you just see that?! My husband looked up from his menu and observed Nicholas signing cracker as well. Not just pointing at the cracker actually giving us the sign for cracker from the baby signing time DVD. Now see you might not think this is impressive at all but you'd have to understand that I have never taught him the sign for cracker. I actually have only taught him "All Done" and "Eat". Not that I haven't tried to teach him others those are just the two he's picked up. I never bothered with cracker at all actually. Mostly I focused on actions and animals and people. To see him sign cracker was quite the shock! Where on earth did he learn it? Take a guess.... well seems like those sign language DVD's really DO work. Apparently he learned it directly from the DVD which I will go ahead and tell you he hasn't seen in about a month now because we've been watching Your Baby Can Read instead. (I like to rotate the educational DVD's for a little variety) He just never felt like using the sign I guess? I'm not sure. What I am sure about was that he was clearly communicating a specific desire to me that I had no idea he was capable of communicating. Bravo! :)  I was of course super excited! It doesn't take much for me to get excited and adding a new sign to our nonverbal vocabulary certainly did the trick. Now if we can just get him talking we'll be set, though I am told to enjoy the nonverbal while it lasts lol. This makes me realize that I should probably be a lot more observant about what Nicholas is watching, listening to, and who he's around. The old "he's not going to know" or "he doesn't understand" isn't going to cut it anymore. I don't want him to go to preschool and tell his teacher to eff off or anything so I better pay attention. Not that I use that term frequently, it's just the first example that popped into my head now. When I think about it it's kind of amazing to me just how quickly a toddler can change and just how much they probably do understand about the world around them without us ever realizing it. I certainly wasn't giving Nicholas as much credit as he obviously deserved :) Now that I know though I am SUPER excited to see what the future brings us in the way of changes and development. I have a feeling that talking is right around the corner among other things. *sniffle* My little man is growing up!!!

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