Lyndon officially-- for real this time-- has 3 words!
"daddy," "dog" and "yeah"
It's anybody's guess whether "daddy" and "dog" will come out as "da" or as "da-da" on any given attempt, but he's using them all the time, and if you ask him to say one, he will give you one of those two sounds. "Yeah" sounds more like "yah" most times, but it definitely means "yes".
And (bonus language!) if you ask him to say "shoe", he makes a nice "s" sound; he often says something that sounds a lot like "outside" while pounding on the front door or pointing out the window; and he has definitely said "ah-dah" while signing "all done" several times now. All of these are pretty hit-or-miss, though.
The point is, he has 3 words by 18 months! Which means no speech therapy yet!
Of course, he came up with 2 of these 3 words on the day of his hearing test. The lady was like, "Why are you guys here?" and I had to say sheepishly, "Because, until yesterday, the only word he ever said was "Daddy", so they think maybe there's something wrong with his hearing. Or they did think that. Um . . . yeah."
For those of you who don't know, getting him a definitive hearing test has been a long, dramatic, emotional process. Apparently, there are audiologists out there who expect a 17 month-old to sit still and quietly while a complete stranger in a white coat jams too-big earbuds into his ears, then curses in his face when the machine breaks down (true story). Lyndon cried the entire time we were there, and I was crying by the end, too.
However, there are also audiologists out there who play fun games with speakers and light-up toys, hand out monkey flashlights, and blow bubbles. We got to see one of these at the children's hospital (on the day he added his new words), and it was amazing. By the end of the appointment, Lyndon was holding the doctor's hand. And, we had a verdict:
Lyndon has fluid in one of his ears, but it's not affecting his hearing in the slightest. So, if our pediatrician thinks we should call the Child Watch people after his 18 month appointment, it should be smooth sailing to get him evaluated.
And, if not, well, I'm more than okay with that. Three words is plenty for now.