William is 12.5 months old, and while he makes a lot of noise, he's really only mastered the word 'mama' and occasionally 'dada'. (Chris gets called 'mama' a lot.) But tonight we realized just how much he understands.
Hannah was napping, and Chris got home early from work. He sat on the couch with me and William and you could see him just decompress and relax after a long day. His shoulders rolled back, he melted down into a comfortable position, and he exhaled all the stress. And for a beat we were quiet.
Then the dogs started scratching (loudly) to be let inside.
Usually this is Hannah's job - She let's the dogs inside and outside, and makes sure they have food and water - but she was still napping. Chris, not wanting to get up, turned to William and whined "why can't you let the dogs in?".
William immediately launches himself off the couch and toddles towards the back door. Naturally Chris and I turn to each other, "he's not really letting them in, is he?"
We both strain to see what William will do next, and see him reach up in an attempt to slide open the door to let the dogs inside. (Thank goodness I've gotten in the habit of locking the back door each time I close it, or I'd have an escape artist in no time.)
And so we squealed, and clapped, and got really excited, because you see - He understood us! He knows what "let the dogs in" means.
Which is shocking because every time we say "no", "drop it", or "come here" he smiles and runs the other way.
Stinker! He totally had us fooled into thinking he was a baby that didn't understand what we were saying, but he's been listening the whole time.