- As long as the kid is saying a few words and has other non-verbal ways of communicating with you, things are moving along in the right direction. Ayaan is a fairly expressive little person if you account for all the non-verbal communication, which includes:
- Pointing at things that he wants
- Responding to demands to fetch various items like his shoes, pram, books and potty
- Waving goodbye and blowing kisses when anyone leaves
- Slaps and bites to display anger and affection (not good but communication nonetheless)
- Many people have told me that kids usually pick between physical and social development to focus on in their early toddler years. So kids who walk and run earlier (Ayaan took his first steps in his eleventh month) tend to be slower off the block as far as talking is concerned and vice versa.
- Another piece of wisom from Ranjit: Boys tend to talk later than girls. I had heard that before but it slipped my mind when I writing this post.
- Something to Say adds that children in bi-lingual households tend to speak later. And our household is seriously multi-lingual - on an average day, Ayaan is spoken to in English, Hindi and Marathi
Anyway, to reassure myself, I decided to make a list of the words he does say and came up with a surprisingly long and comforting list. Here it is:
'Nuh' (accompanied by violent head-shaking)
When he’s hungry, he demands ‘Foodie' or sometimes just ‘Foo’
At night when he’s been changed and read to, he knows it’s time for ‘Nini’ (sleep)
When he hears the bucket filling up in the bathroom, he knows it is time for his ‘Ba’ (bath)
Any other demands are communicated through finger-pointing accompanied by ‘Di’ (‘De’ is Hindi for give)
‘Mama’: This is not only the term used to address me but also his most favourite and oft-repeated word, often to no end. Sometimes, he will sit in his car seat and say ‘Mama’ over and over again twenty times is a row while observing the traffic.
‘Dada’: This is the second most favourite word - said most often when Jai is travelling. I try to give him involved answers like “Dada is in Delhi. He will be back on Friday – that is the day after tomorrow” but after he has done this about twenty times, I regress to a simple “Dada is in office”. I know it is not the truth but it keeps me from wanting to pull my tongue out…
‘Didi’: This is how he addresses the young maid who stays with us.
‘Sheeya’: – We have two maids for Ayaan – Surekha (morning) and Shashikala (rest of the day). He refers to them both as Shiya
‘Aayee’/ ‘Yaya’ – I am not 100% sure yet but I think these are early attempts at pronouncing his name.
All birds are referred to as ‘Kaw’
All big animals (horses, cows, buffalos) are referred to as ‘Moo’
All small animals (dogs, cats, pigs, rabbits) are referred to as ‘Wawa’ (Bow-wow)
All plants, trees and leaves are referred to as ‘Fouva’ (flower)
Modes of Transportation
All big vehicles (vans, buses, trucks) are called ‘Bois’ (bus)
All small vehicles (cars, jeeps, SUVs) are called ‘Kai’ (car)
‘Koi’/ ‘Koni’: This is a questioning word. For example, when he throws his ball and can’t see it, he will turn his palms upward in a questioning manner and say "Koni?"
‘Dis’: This is a recent addition. He points to things he does not know the name of and says "Dis" (this?) and then you have to tell him what it is.
How do your experiences with 19-month olds and their vocabulary compare?