When you have a late-talker like Eamon, it can be hard sometimes to judge what they are and are not picking up. Because he doesn't automatically repeat everything we say, I admit that sometimes we say things that we shouldn't in front of him, which will probably have some very embarrassing consequences very soon.
It also means, however, that even though we worked with him on things like the alphabet and numbers, for the longest time we had no way of knowing whether he was "getting it." The other problem is that Eamon doesn't like to show off, generally, and will not answer a question just because you ask it. "What's that?" when you point to a number, letter, or animal is often followed by flagrant ignoring of your question. He has better things to do than perform. Sheesh.
That is why this weekend has been particularly exciting. Over the past couple of weeks, Eamon has been talking more and more and appears to finally be understanding how to express himself. He's using more words, and even putting two words or a word and a sign together to convey his ideas.
Moreover, he's able to finally talk enough to show us that all that working with letters and numbers hasn't been us just throwing concepts into a giant abyss. He's been paying attention the entire time.
For instance, on the way to my parents' on Friday, I caught him in the back seat "singing" something to the effect of "Ah, buh, see, duh, eee, ffff, guh-ee...hsotughsol...." Apparently, he can't quite get his tongue around the "H" sound, so decided to abandon the effort. After all, 26 letters is kind of extraneous, when you think about it.
Then this Saturday, we took him to the mall. Every time he spotted his favorite letters on the store signs, he started yelling them out to us. Finally, we stood in front of Borders book store, and asked him each letter. He knew them all...and read them to us in order. He could also read all the letters in The Daily Show's book Earth...until the H, which just seems to be throwing him.
But I knew that he had been working on his letters for awhile. In fact, I think he knows most of them, so I wasn't too surprised that he could read them in order.
What did amaze me was this morning. We were sitting on the steps (I like to sit on steps...I don't know why...and Eamon does, too) eating some Fruit Snacks. I only ever let him have one at a time because I am paranoid about him choking. He always, of course, wants more than that.
"ONE," I said, handing him one. "You can only have ONE."
In my other hand, though, I was holding two more. He pointed to them. "TWO," he said.
Then, just for good measure, he carried on, "FREE, FO."
So, well, he can count, too. At least up to four. Possibly more, but again, his difficulty with speech makes it hard to tell when he doesn't understand/know something and when he just can't say it.
That being said, I am excited that he seems to know so much, but also worried. If he's actually been paying attention all this time, it means that he's not only picked up the letters and numbers things, but probably also some other choice words that might have accidentally been uttered in his presence, and it's only a matter of time before he surprises me with some of those gems as well.
Let's just hope it's not in front of anyone else.