E's first word was 'milk'...she signed it clearly at about 5 months, and kept with it almost daily until she learned how to say it many months later. Watching her add signs like 'eat', 'more', 'kitty', 'fish', and 'bird' were fascinating. Having a means to communicate broke down a barrier and allowed us to bond with her in a new way. I loved it when she would initiate a conversation, pointing at her fish and signing at the same time.
As her vocabulary grew, it was still dominated by nouns, things we could point to and name. Her sentences were just one word, said in a certain tone. She might whine 'gweek' with a sad look, which meant she wanted a drink. 'Badaid' while nodding and pointing to her knee meant "Put a bandaid here, please." I think she currently knows about 25 animals by name, including 'pomous' (hippopotamous), 'jaguar', and 'elebup' (elephant).
Each day, we get closer and closer to true, effective language, and I'm loving it. This morning, laying on her back on the changing table staring at the ceiling, E said 'Eating stars,' and pretended to chew. There are glow in the dark constellations up there, thanks to M...she was pretending to eat them, and telling me about it. I'm dying to know more, E. What do the stars taste like? Are they soft? Do they radiate light from your belly? Tell me...
It sounds like poetry to me, eating stars. I can't wait to hear the rest.