My daughter is almost 17 months old now, and her language skills are right on par. Mamma, Dada, Nana, Mummum, PopPop, Bye, Hi, I did it, I know … and a few others that are developing along nicely.
But there is something to be said about the language of love that, although it has consistencies, it is different for everyone. I feel love every day from our little one, but something happened today that I know means a little something special.
Emma gives hugs around the neck, being that is the only place she can fit her arms around besides your leg. It’s great when she does, and she does it more often now to my wife and I. Today before laying her down for a nap though, she gave me a different hug than usual. She spoke while she did it.
Don’t get me wrong. She almost constantly speaks now when we are home. Babbles alllllll day. But what you need to understand is that when she talks it is with quite a lot of power behind her voice. She’s in that stage of “testing her range,” seeing how far her voice can actually go, and let’s face it, being loud is fun. So usually when we talk (because we do turn it into conversations) I’m more than certain someone standing out in the hallway could hear her. This is important for you to know, as the way she spoke while hugging me was so much different.
She spoke softly. Holding me close, gripping around my neck tight, head on my shoulder pressed against my cheek. She softly rambled into my ear, as if she needed to tell me something that was just for me. It was unlike her usual babble, which seems to be just a random linking of sounds that she stumbles through as if with a lisp. This was clear, almost seeming thought out before hand. It was just for me. She held me close and spoke it softly. I don’t know what she said, but i felt it.
It was exactly what I needed to hear.
A version of this first appeared on Dad on the Mic.