Lately, Zeke has been all over the "academics" of being 2 1/2. He's very good with body parts; I think he can probably name all of them. He loves to try to count things. However, his number sense is limited to saying "tree, four, tree, four, tree, four." You would not believe how many sets of things are apparently "four." He has also been practicing his color words. For quite awhile, everything was "red." And if you told him he was wrong, he would tell you "no, red" and insist that he was correct. Occasionally, he would get a color right and I wasn't sure if it was just a case of a blind squirrel finding the occasional acorn or if he actually did know and thought that teasing us by calling everything "red" was just a fun game. In the last few days though, he has been much more accurate, especially if you ask him to point to a certain color. (Although he does often vocalize the right color too.)
It's such an interesting contrast because my other two were no where close to being ready to talk colors and numbers at 6 months home. It has nothing to do with intelligence but is all about readiness and child development, something that can be really hard to sort out when you are doing an international adoption. It's very easy to compare your child to other kids their age and feel like they are behind. But the reality is, for most kids, they just need time. What you are looking for is progress, consistent progress even if it is slow. Our culture often does not value this as we hurry kids to grow up; we bypass play and childhood in favor of preschoolers and kindergarteners who can read and solve addition problems. (When most of us did not learn to do those things until first grade or beyond and somehow we all turned out alright.) For me, with my first two, it was a struggle to not compare, to remind myself that they are making up ground in their own unique yet appropriate ways.