Gerald and I have been subscribing to the theory that if you talk to your child a lot, then she will be verbal. Or more verbal. I don't know. But it has seemed to work. So far, Clara has learned to say: Bubble, Up, A-Cup, Bye Bye, Hi, Woof Woof, Quack Quack, Yes, Mama, and Dada.
I have to credit Gerald with the Mama and Dada part. Anytime Clara said "Dada," Gerald would respond with: "Yes. I'm Dada. That's Mama. And you're Clara." I take all the credit for Woof Woof and Quack Quack.
Yesterday while I was at work, something amazing happened. Gerald was sitting in the chair in Clara's room as she played. Gerald said: Yes, I'm Dada and you're Clara." And Clara looked over at him and said: "Clara." And then proceeded to respond to the question: "What's your name?" with "Clara" quite a few more times.
When I got home that night I asked her: "Is your name Clara?" and she said: "Clara."
I wonder how long she's been thinking about saying her own name. It's as if I can see her brain synapses firing and building the neural pathway that means: My name is Clara." along with the ones that mean: "One foot in front of the other is walking." and "This is how to drink from a cup."
Every day with a child is a revelation.