It’s amazing to watch children learn and grow, particularly in the area of speech. What starts out as grunts and blabbering turns into a couple of repeated words here and there, slowly becomes short simple phrases, buds into short observatory sentences, and then explodes into full-out conversation. Having twins provides a unique perspective on language because we can actually watch them have conversations. I expect that a single child would talk to their parents but not to the extent that a pair of twins would talk to each other. I expect something similar with siblings of different ages – the younger one would talk to the older one but not to the extent they would talk to someone of the same age and shared experience. It is extremely enjoyable to listen to the boys talking to each other. Their speech has improved so much since they turned 2 it is just amazing. I often enjoy just listening to them talk when we drive to and from school every day.
So what do they say? Everything pretty much. First off, they both repeat just about anything you say. Sometimes you can just say “say [some phrase]” and they will repeat it (and frequently remember it). Other times you just have to say it and they will repeat it immediately. Drop something on your foot? You better say “Oh my gosh” or “Ouch, that hurt” because chances are that you will have an echo. We are getting to the point where we have to be really careful about using “adult talk” around the boys because they will not only repeat it but they will remember it and say it again. Phrases like “Oh my gosh”, “I don’t like that”, “Look it”, “Open the door”, “Go to the store”, and “I did it” are common.
Both boys are using sentences which are turning into conversations, often between the two of them. It’s obvious that they not only can repeat phrases but also understand what they mean and string them together into a conversation. We posted a video on Facebook recently where they were looking out the front door watching our neighbor mow his lawn (one of their favorite things). Sally asked who was on the tractor and Adam replied “Bampa is mowing the lawn” (the nickname for our neighbor Lyn). Bampa wasn’t actually on the tractor and Zachary took the opportunity to correct Adam by looking at him and saying “No, it’s Kidney. It’s Kidney on the tractor”.
In addition to standard phrases like “That’s mine”, they say more complex ones like “Don’t put that in my eye” and “Adam, don’t cut the rug”. Adam in particular has started targeting his conversations at specific people by saying “Daaaaaaaadddddddyyyyy look!” or “Mummmmmmmmmy look!” before pointing something out to us. The boys were in the office one morning while we were getting ready for school and I heard Adam say “Zachy look! There is a balloon up there”. Zach responded by saying “Ya, I can’t reach it”. I peeked into the room and both of them were looking up and pointing at the balloon.
Conversations are still a new concept for the boys. More often they make observatory statements such as “It’s dark in here”, “I jump too much” (after we told Adam that he broke a spring in his crib because he jumped too much), “Gigi’s belley hurt”, and “Zachy puke”. They also say things like “Stop it. I don’t like that! NO NO NO Daddy!” or “Adam don’t hit me”. Car trips often include conversations about where the motorcycle went and where the fire trucks are.
We’ve heard that speech becomes annoying at some point because they never stop talking (if my niece is any indication I can understand 🙂 but at the moment we are really enjoying it. I love that they are starting to address people, understand phrases, and have conversations. Zach does a lot of pointing and “Wha’s zat” to learn new vocabulary that he will repeat and Adam is speaking a lot more than he did in the past. We are surrounded by short frequent observations and small conversations. Not a bad time in the Taylor household.