My daughter is an incredibly expressive little girl, despite still being pre-verbal! She can communicate so much with just a gesture, a turn of her head, or a change of expression.
When she sees the bag of frozen blueberries she starts breathing very rapidly, bouncing up and down, and sometimes flapping her hands by her face; when I give her a bowl of them, she chuckles in joyous anticipation.
When I ask her if she wants to pick clothes to get dressed, her eyes get wide and she runs to the bedroom. If I try to direct her choices, she will throw the outfits I’ve picked to the side and insist that I put on the clothes she’s chosen, laying herself down on the floor and lifting her feet to go inside the pants she wants.
When I tell her “no more” and she knows there’s no room for negotiation, she flings her hands down to her sides, whirls around away from me, and marches off as quickly as she can, her whole face contorted and red.
She smiles readily and protests equally readily, knowing that her voice will be listened to even when she doesn’t have the words to tell us what she wants and needs.
And when she plays, her face lights up our whole home.
Image description: grid with four pictures of a blond baby playing in a kiddie pool, with various expressions of focus, silliness, and happiness.