I have decided that my 18 month old is an apple-tunist. Apple was one of her earliest words and she loves to say it. Even though it has three sounds and seems a lot more complicated than “mama” it was a very early word for my son too, so maybe it is somewhat universal. She used to use the word to refer to all food, hunger and all things round like a ball. She would also say it just for fun while riding in the car. Now she has a lot of new words – almost a word a day. She can say other food words like cheese, banana and peas. And she can say ball now too. So her opportunities to use her favorite word apple are shrinking to more apple specific moments.
So now when she has the opportunity to say “apple” in an appropriate context – she really jumps on it. Apples in books, the grocery store or the fruit bowl or even an apple being eaten across the beach inspires a sing song series of “ap-ple, ap-ple, ap-ple”. Other fruits, especially round ones like peaches will elicit a similar although somewhat less enthusiastic response. If someone else uses the word, she always repeats it with glee and is happy to join the conversation. I can already imagine her years older deftly shifting the conversation to a topic that interests her in a “speaking of apples, I read the most interesting article about apples yesterday,” kind of way.
I think I could count all of her words just using my fingers and toes to count but its amazing to watch her pick up new ones so fast and in the next six months, G-d willing, she will pick up hundreds more. And I am sure I will look back and miss the days when everything was an apple and using the word made her giddy and proud.