Yes is the simple (but incomplete) answer on both counts. It’s so exciting! I feel like these two milestones kind of snuck up on me, and they are continuing to evolve so much that I haven’t paid them much mind on the blog… which means that they will never end up in Natalie’s baby book! So, in the interest of posterity, here’s the 411 on Natalie’s walking & talking achievements.
She’s walking a ton these days, but is still so much faster and more confident on all fours. She’ll walk several steps on her own and then drop to the ground to crawl at lightning speed towards whatever she has her eye on. She loves to walk around holding one of our hands, and I don’t think she realizes that we’re not providing her much help at all–she’s doing it all on her own. We are kind of like a security blanket, I think, just giving her the little bit of moral support as she gets more sure footed. Every day it seems like the number of steps she’ll take at a time grows, and she has learned to take her inevitable tumbles in stride. It’s amazing to watch!
As far as talking goes, she had this sudden slew of words come pouring out right around her first birthday, and then when she got sick she pretty much stopped saying any real words altogether. We’re back on track a bit now that she’s feeling more like herself, and it is too cool to watch her figure out how to say such random things. In the past month, she has said:
Hat (which she will hold up and wave furiously to indicate that she wants to go outside)
Elmo (“Eh-Mo,” which she’ll say as we point to him in her books)
Nana (for banana, though she has said it a few times to actually mean her grandmother)
Yucky (“Kucky,” which she just started repeating back to us)
She’s still saying Mama and Daddy all the time, and will make an “mmm” sound for milk. While she has said all of these words a handful of times, she is really not consistently talking in any real way.
Our little communicator makes herself known without words, too–she points at an item she wants, bangs on the door to say she’d like to go outside, and pulls her highchair across the kitchen if she’s hungry. She is also pointing at EVERYTHING, and loves it when we say the word for what she’s pointing at.
What is most remarkable to me is how well she understands what we are saying to her, even though she’s not officially talking back (at least not beyond her usual chatty jargon). If we ask her to show us her facial features (head, eyes, nose, mouth, ears) she will point to them, and she can retrieve most items we ask her to get (“Bring me a book,” or “Where’s the doggy?” or “Give me a magnet,” etc.), and if we say “It’s snacktime” or some meal variation, she will scurry through the house to get to her highchair. I’m realizing more and more just how much I need to monitor my own words, because she is so observant and absorbs everything we’re saying to her!