Verbally, I think Harper is right on track. She repeats words, she is starting to make attempts at phrases and sentences, she uses words to ask for things. . . I believe this is pretty normal stuff for a child her age. Harper does not share these words lightly. Often, when we are trying to get her to demonstrate her vocabulary, she absolutely refuses to cooperate. Those conversations go something like this:
Me: Harper, do you want to count with Mommy?
Me: Harper, should we say the ABCs?
Me: Harper, how old are you?
Harper: no response
And so on and so forth.
Then, out of the blue, she will do something that totally amazes and terrifies me because it makes me realize she is paying attention all the time! The periods of not talking are not related to periods of not thinking.
Here are two examples from today:
First, when I got home from school, Ann was telling me that she read a Blue's Clues book to Harper. I asked if it was the one in her room, or the new one we got from the library. When Harper heard me mention the library and Blue's Clues in the same sentence, she ran right into the living room and picked up the Blue's Clues book out of the basket we put the new library books in on Saturday. I peeked around the corner and she was sitting in the middle of the rug, "reading" it to herself. Until she ran to get that book, I didn't even realize she was paying attention to our conversation!
The second, and more remarkable, moment of clarity came in the Meijer parking lot. We had run a quick errand after Harper ate dinner. As we were putting our bags in the car, Harper noticed a big, red SUV parked next to us. She pointed to it and said, "Muga, car?" Of course my mom is in Wisconsin and it wasn't her car, but it was a red SUV, which is what she drives! I gave Harper a quizzical look, wondering if I'd heard her correctly and she repeated, "Muga, big car!"
So it now appears that, in addition to paying attention to everything, Harper has developed the memory of an elephant. This worries me a little. What kinds of things will she tell about us once she really starts talking?!