I’ve heard that one of the most powerful underlying forces behind the Terrible Twos is the buildup of a child’s desires and the inability to communicate them. I can sense this in Robert now, since he clearly understands a lot but his articulation can't keep pace.
If I ask him if he wants to go outside, for example, he will run off to fetch his shoes, dump himself into my lap, and extend his foot. Then there was the time we told him to stay away from the stove because it was “hot,” and he reacted by blowing on it. (After all, that’s how you cool your food, right?)
Lately, he’s taken to pointing at something urgently, arching his brow, and asserting something of grievous importance. In response, I try to be appreciative and not look like a dog that has just been shown a card trick. It’s one of those social situations when politeness trumps comprehension — like when you’re being given driving directions in a rural stretch of a foreign country.