For the last week or two, I've noticed how much more responsive Kaya has been when I tell her information or ask her questions. For example, lately, I can tell her that I am going to get her milk and that I'll be right back, and I can leave her in her crib to wait for me until I come back...key difference: she doesn't cry every time like she used to when I would tell her the same thing! So exciting. I find that when I ask her questions now, like "Willst du zum SwapnPlay gehen?" (Do you want to go to SwapnPlay?), she nods her head or shakes it, depending upon her momentary preference. Before, she would do it now and again, leading me to believe she either didn't understand me, or she didn't have a preference. I'd say that now, about 80-90% of the time, she lets me know, with a nod or shake, how she feels about the questions I ask her. It's really made a big difference in our communication, not to mention our time together!
In addition to answering my questions and understanding my statements more consistently, she's also being more communicative about what she wants on her own. This morning, for example, we were on a run with the dogs, and we were running by the park. In the middle of the park is a play structure that we've played at before. Kaya motioned to the play structure by pointing and grunting a bit. It was clear to me that she was doing more than just showing me that she recognized it, because when I asked her if she wanted to go play on it, she got very excited and did her cute little head nod/body shake. When I decided to go around to enter it on the other (always trying to avoid flat tires on the BOB stroller!), she got a bit stressed out, making the beginnings of her "fire engine" whining noise. I told her what we were going to do, however, and that seemed to help her. She was QUITE excited when we got to the playground!
I also forgot to mention that Kaya signed "EAT" about a week ago for the first time. Granted, we haven't seen it since (as is common when these new signs and words finally emerge for the first time), but I know it's in there! She saw a tupperware full of her snap peas on the recliner, crawled over to the chair, and stood up at it. She pointed at the box, made her "uh.uh" grunt, and made the sign for "eat" by touching her fingers to her mouth. We've been using this sign with her for probably about 8 months. It's fascinating to me that with some signs, all she needs is a day and she's got it--like with dog--and with other signs, like water and eat/food--it's been a much longer process time.