When we were at the doctor's last week, he asked us how Angelee's speech is coming along. She's learning new words all the time, we assured him. He paused and looked at us sternly. "Yes, but how many words can she say?" he asked. "Oh, I don't know," I stammered, "I haven't really kept a tally for a while." With a now-visible twinkle in his eye, he teased us about it, and my heart rate went back down. For a moment there, I thought we were supposed to have been keeping track, and I felt like I was back in my old nightmare of having a math test I hadn't studied for.
So! When I got back home, I thought I'd try to capture her current vocabulary and compare it to the just-after surgery tally and the before-accident one. As it turns out, she has a bunch of new words, but not as many as I had expected. The real change (as is developmentally proper for this age) has been in how she puts the words together. She's understanding more, and stringing her thoughts along in ever-increasingly sophisticated ways. She speaks in 5- or 6- word sentences, and uses whole phrases now, such as "I like it" (always in the same cheerful sing-song tone).
The other day I was washing her hair. She was happily singing songs without words (she likes how her voice echoes in the shower or tub - who doesn't?) until I poured water on her head to rinse out the shampoo. Her singing quickly changed to shrieking, just as Daddy walked in the room. "She loves this part," I laughed. Angelee quickly contradicted me. "NO!" she yelled. "NO! Angelee no 'I like it!'" The funny part is, she yelled the "no" and sweetly intoned the "I like it."
It's good to have something happy with which to fill our hearts. My heart is full and grateful to have all this.