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HeadScratchSimon has made some significant leaps in cognition lately that are thrilling to witness.

A while back, we delighted at his use of the word “light” and were puzzled by some other utterances like “ba” and “yagi.” In the past week or so he’s set to work on his pronunciation, and as a result we understand more. Simon now has six clear words: “light”, “mama”, “dada”, “ba” (bye), “ball”, and “lat” (cat). He also has several more words he’s said once or twice, but for now we are attributing them to mimicry. These pre-words include “turkey” and “clock”. He’s got a seventh word, “good,” that we’re not quite ready to confirm yet, and he also delights in saying “uh-oh” and “eeeeeey”.

Beyond simply saying a few words, Simon is letting us know that he understands more every day, too. For a week or so, he’s been able to point to a light, a cat, and a bunny in books when I ask him to. If I ask him to get his ball, most of the time he will. And if I ask him to give me a hug, he usually stretches out his arms. He’s hugged his stuffed bunny on command, too.

I’ve also been fascinated by watching Simon play with graduated boxes. When he first got them, he knocked the boxes together. As the months wore on, he began to play by putting the smaller boxes inside the larger ones. A few weeks ago, he stacked two boxes for the first time ever. And this week, he’s managed to stack as many as four boxes at a time.

Since these boxes are graduated in size, results vary dramatically according to the order he tries to stack things. Sunday and Monday, I looked on as Simon successfully put smaller boxes on top of larger ones, and then less successfully put larger boxes on top of smaller ones. Sometimes when he does this, he grabs the larger box off the smaller one and giggles as though he were playing peek-a-boo with them. That’s pretty darn cute. But Sunday and yesterday alike, I watched Simon take the larger box off the stack, look around for a smaller box, and try again with better results. That was downright fascinating.

Whenever Matt and I realize Simon has learned something new, one of us inevitably looks over at the other in amazement, searching for validation. “Did you see what I saw?” we ask each other. Once the new skill is confirmed, there’s a ripple of excitement and a moment of wonder. Watching this baby transform into a little person I can communicate and interact with has to be the most rewarding and fascinating experience I’ve ever had. I have the sense we are now embarking a Very Grand Adventure, and impatient me can’t wait to see where we go to next.

Pictured, Simon scratching his head as he thinks–or at least appears to think–big new thoughts.

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