“Mommy, I need to go to the potty” – the birth of a first sentence 

I’m 90% certain that phrase came straight from Aria’s mouth last night as Aria was protesting bedtime. 

I stared at her in shock and it had nothing to do with potty training. 

I could never fathom what it might be like when parents say their child didn’t talk and then started in full sentences. 

A month ago I visited a friend whose similar aged son was saying things like “I’m so sophisticated” and “please hand me the tractor.” Aria was stuck on five or so words total. “Mommy,” “Daddy,” “Aria,” “Bye,” “Mine,” “More,” and “Milk.” Her most complex phrase was “Bye Dada” and she would get annoyed when I’d ask her to say words. 

Stupidly, I took her to the doctor, worried that the six months of ear infections may have hurt her language development. She referred us to an in-home assessment. 

But Aria made such complex sounding phrases and chatter. 

And I know kids develop at different paces. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. The wires in the brain just one moment fuse together and suddenly your baby is laughing or pointing at dogs or using sign language or imagining as she reads or pretending to cook. One moment the play kitchen is just a bunch of doors to open. The next it’s a stove and sink and she’s getting water from a play faucet and pretending to drink from it. 

Aria is astonishing me daily like this. And I can tell language, sign and verbal, is starting to click. 

A couple days ago Aria showed me her water bottle. In an unexpected hand gesture, she illustrated turning and pulling off the lid, then eyed me eyed me expectantly. 

Then later that day she made a hand gesture like a slide to explain she wanted us to go down the stairs on our bottoms. 

It makes me appreciate the complexity and beauty of communication. Never really paid attention before. 

And yes, in the morning, Aria asked me again, albeit with a cringe and a point to her diaper and a call to my name. 

Only this time she was triumphant. 

What a remarkable week!


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