Drew's language is really exploding, as he is adding new words and new two and three word phrases each day. After returning from the beach, even my Mom, who normally sees him on a daily basis, commented on how much more he is talking! Very exciting!
Drew's Dad and I are amazed at how much Drew is learning that we aren't teaching him. One of Drew's favorite phrases right now is, "[Sister's name] take it." Anytime his sister has something he wants, or that she has stolen from him, he whines and says that phrase! The only way we can figure that he learned it is from us asking his sister, "Did you take it from Drew?" It is amazing! We certainly didn't teach him to tell us when she takes things from him. In fact, it can be quite annoying, as we hear it about a thousand times a day!
Also, Drew is learning which restaurant chain has certain types of food. When we are driving and pass a Pizza Hut his will say, "Pizza." When he sees McDonald's he says, "Chicken." Bob Evans? Pancakes. We certainly have not taught him this, he is just learning the food chain logos and associating it with the food he eats at each restaurant. (Maybe we eat out too much?)
This incidental learning is so important, and one area of language development that hearing impaired children typically struggle with. The struggles generally stem from not being able to hear well in noisy situations, or not being able to understand the language without the speaker looking at them (to help with lip reading). It is amazing just how well Drew is able to hear with his implants. And part of the reason that his everyday speech is coming along so well and is in context with different situations is because he is doing well with his incidental learning.
It is so much fun to watch this language development. It is just...so...normal.