The Talking Has Begun
Austen's been saying—and, more often, signing—individual words for a long time now, but recently I've noticed him actively trying to acquire vocabulary. A couple weeks ago he started pointing out trees to me: He wouldn't say anything other than an "eh!" to get my attention, but he'd stand under a tree and point up. "Tree," I'd say. He'd nod thoughtfully; you could see him filing it away.
On Monday afternoon after Hannah left (she's only here from 8-3 on Mondays), I decided I was too lazy to walk down to the Old Navy at 11th and Market, so Austen and I took the bus. "We're waiting for the bus," I said to him as we hung out at the corner of 21st and Arch. He then pointed out every 48 bus that went by us on Arch Street (we needed a 48 heading south on 21st) and yelled "ba!" He did the same this morning when we went out for coffee at 8:30 and ran into a cordoned-off Market Street (rumor in the crowd of people milling about, waiting to get into their office buildings, was that there'd been a bomb threat). There were detoured buses stacked up amid all the other traffic, and Austen shouted gleefully, "ba! ba! ba! ba!," pointing at each one.
There've been other vocabulary improvements as well. His "no" is now much clearer—a real "no" instead of a "nah"—and yesterday when I tried to get his attention after he woke up kind of dazed from a nap by pressing his bellybutton and yelling, "BELLYBUTTON!," he gently pushed my hand away, shook his head, and said "no no do."