Yesterday morning as I put on my sneakers to go to the gym I described to Ben what I was doing.
"Mommy's putting on her socks, just like we put on your socks earlier. They keep your feet warm. Now I'm putting on my shoes so we can go outside."
It sounds inane, but supposedly it helps toddlers learn speech. So, after I was done I said something like, "Ben can you get your shoes?" I wasn't actually expecting him to do anything, but he toddled over to the shoe cubby and stopped. It seemed like he was thinking. Then he bent down, pulled one of his sneakers out and handed it to me. It was amazing. I didn't even use a hand gesture to indicate what I meant. He just did it based on my words. It wasn't a coincidence, either, because we repeated the same scenario later in the day with the same results. This could really come in handy!
I probably shouldn't be surprised he knows the word "shoe." One of his favorite activities is to pull the shoes out of the cubby holes and carry them around the house. I say the phrase, "Ben, don't eat shoes!" multiple times a day.