Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Spoken Word and the Terrible Twos

According to the National Institute of Health, there are several points every 18-23 month-olds must reach in their speech and language development.

Here is the U.S. Government’s official list –

  • Enjoys being read to
  • Follows simple commands without gestures
  • Points to simple body parts such as "nose"
  • Understands simple verbs such as "eat," "sleep"
  • Says 8 to 10 words (pronunciation may still be unclear)
  • Asks for common foods by name
  • Makes animal sounds such as "moo"
  • Starting to combine words such as "more milk"
  • Begins to use pronouns such as "mine"

At 22 months, The Squeaker has hit all of them out of the park. Especially the “Says 8-10 words” part. 8 to 10?! 8 to 10!? Squeak has, at a minimum, 40-50 words. And I think that’s a conservative estimate.

Squeaker can string together up to four words in a simple sentence and understands complex sentences like “put the doll in the bucket,” or “don’t hit your brother,” or “pick a book and let’s go get ready for bed.” and even, “I can’t understand you with the ‘fire in your mouth, take it out and tell me again.”

Maybe I should compare her to the two year old bracket. More after the photo jump.

Does the “terrible twos” also include goofiness?

Don’t get me wrong, The Squeaker is definitely feeling her oats; she’s refusing a number of things…

“Do you want to take a bath?”


“Do you want to eat dinner?”


“Let's put our jacket on.”


…and the list of NOs goes on.

And don’t even get me started on her sideways looks at things she doesn’t want to do and the frequent stare-offs we have in our battle of wills.

But she’s also developed a goofy streak; long, maniacal laughs at simple daddy jokes (Why is 10 afraid? Because 7, 8, 9). Also, she spins herself in circles until she falls down, dizzy with the giggles.

So the twos are not so terrible. In fact, dare I say, I love the “terrible twos”.

Of course, we're still two months away from two...