They Love to Express Themselves
If you've always wanted to know what your toddler really thinks about your meat loaf, wonder no more. Two-year-olds are full of opinions and have the language skills to express them. Most children start the twos with a vocabulary of about 300 words. "By the end of the second year, they're putting together three- to five-word sentences," says Andrew Meltzoff, Ph.D., a child-development specialist at the University of Washington, in Seattle, and coauthor of The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains and How Children Learn (William Morrow, 1999).
That's a milestone for which Kristine Brown, of San Juan Island, Washington, is enormously grateful. "When my son, Carson, was a baby, dinnertime consisted wholly of his stuffing food in his mouth. Now that he's 2, he tells us what he wants to eat -- along with his thoughts on everything else."