Ever since Emi and Misaki went back to school, one of my main goals has been to work with Natsuki on her speaking skills. It's not that I'm worried or concerned about her but I noticed that she doesn't get the one-on-one time with me that the other girls did so she doesn't have a lot of words in her vocabulary. The words she does have, she says clearly and everyone can tell what they are. She also uses them at the right time and so far we always know what she's trying to tell us but I knew that if we were ever going to get past "more" and "all done" then I was going to have to try a little harder.
At first she would just laugh at me when I would repeat words over and over that I wanted her to try saying but eventually I noticed that she was trying to say them and then she could say them clearly. One day last week we were playing hide-and-seek with Sakura and I was calling out Sakura's name in a sing-song fashion while Natsuki and I searched for her. I would call out "Sa-kura" and we would hear giggling from whever Sakura was but one time I called out "Sa-kura" and all of a sudden Natsuki said "Ta-kura" in a clear immitation of me. Sakura jumped out of her hiding place and ran over to us and the three of us sat in a circle and called out Sakura's name over and over while Natsuki mimiced us. It was awesome. Here's a little sample for your enjoyment.
Of course the other little voice you hear at the end is Sakura not wanting to miss out on the fun. It almost looks like Natsuki throws her voice when I asked her to say "Daddy". The other thing I'm enjoying about Natsuki's expanding vocabulary is how excited her sisters are for her. They rejoice over every new word and ask her to repeat it ad naseum.
For posterity, I decided to write a list of all the words she can say as of today, at 1 year and 9 months.
morning (not good morning, just "morning")
ohaiyo gozaimasu (good morning)
arigato (thank you)
moikai (one more time)
dekita (I did it!)
It'll be interesting to see how much this list grows over the next few months when she turns 2!