We've all heard the stories. You know, the ones where a beloved friend (or member of the family) utters a phrase and that's the moment that the resident toddler chooses to parrot back what they've heard?
A week and a half ago, I was fretting that Genevieve wasn't really talking. Sure, she was babbling up a storm, but she wasn't using very many *words*.
"She is FINE," Mom assured me. "Once she starts talking, she'll never stop."
First, it was time for a snack. Clear as a bell, "Apple." Then, pointing at Niki, "Dog." On the changing table, "Diap[er]! Diap[er]!" Asking for Mom, "Gramma!" The icing on the cake? She called my dad by his special name- the one that translates to "Daddy Darling". (I don't need to tell you that he turned into a great big Grandpa puddle.)
The Scientist in the Crib (which is SUCH a good book), about passive language. According to Dr. Gopnik (and common sense, once you think about it), you understand language before you can speak it.
Genevieve slipped out of one of her shoes. Mom asked Genevieve to please bring her the shoe so Mom could help her put it back on. Except that Mom didn't ask her in English.
Genevieve looked at Mom, picked up her shoe, walked over to Mom, handed her the shoe, then gave the "up" signal. Message received, understood, and responded to.
(For the record, Mom was super smug. And rightly so.)
Then, on Saturday, the most incredible thing happened.
We were having lunch at the table, Genevieve looked over at Andrew and repeated a phrase we've all said a million times, clear as a bell.
"I love you."
Not "luh dada". Just, "I love you".
I was so overjoyed, I thought my heart would burst out of my chest. And then it would tap dance on the table. This is one of those Mommy Moments where you forget about all the hard things, and all you can do is be in the moment and soak up all those incredible, amazing, oxytocin-enhanced feelings.
I looked to Mom and Andrew. They heard it, too. And she said it again, later. And again, after asking for "Gramma" when Genevieve was getting ready for bed.
Children will listen.