Sometimes children with older siblings do things differently from first-borns. Instead of learning words for familiar objects and names of caregivers first and then combining words into sentences, toddlers with older siblings at home may begin their journey into the world of speech by babbling in sentences. They may sound like fluent speakers of a language no one knows. Eventually, more and more real words sprinkle their babbled sentences, until they are speaking the same language as everyone else.
Um, did I have amnesia for a year of my life there around 2005 or so and give birth to an invisible, low-maintenance child whom only Auletta can hear? Or are Justin and I just really large children? Because Auletta's been babbling since, oh, eight months. I am often a little weirded out when I am around other young children by how little formation and enunciation there is to their verbal expression, but apparently they are normal and Auletta is strange.
Still, because Justin and I are both verbally-oriented people with high expectations for our daughter, we are feeling a little concerned about the fact that Auletta doesn't speak English words yet. She is probably the most social and expressive baby I've ever met (not that I've met a lot, I suppose) and is not shy about babbling whenever and wherever she is and whoever she's around. She waves her finger around while delivering orations (the comparison to Mussolini and Hitler has been made) and has the full range of cadences, structure and emotion in her speech, but she is speaking fluent Auletta-ish, or whatever you want to call it. I think I am starting to detect English words in there somewhere, but I'm not sure if I'm just imagining it. She doesn't seem very interested in imitating us. I guess she thinks her own language is sufficient. She has a lovely voice and I want to understand what she's saying.
So, those of you who have children older than Auletta, which I think is nearly everyone who reads this blog, how did your children's speech develop? Is she at a normal place for 13 months? I know it is probably ridiculous to be anxious at this point, but since talking is one of the things I'm excited about her doing (like, she doesn't walk yet but I don't really care about that so much, partly because she is obviously very close to doing it, partly because when she does it'll mean more work for me so why rush it?), I think about it a lot more than I think about where she's at in regard to eating or sleeping or moving or other things.