Before I had kids I would stare at my friends in amazement when their little one said, "mmab ka snawa" and they would respond, "You want a sandwich? Sure!" Every now and then I can understand someone else's kid, but most of the time when they are first learning to talk my response is, "I don't know, ask your mama."
When B was really sick with the flu I sat up night after night with him. One night I was holding him in our bed right after he threw up. He looked up at me and said, "Mama, water." I know he didn't speak it that clearly. I know water comes out more like wawa when B says it, but in that moment I understood how mothers and fathers know what their children are saying. There's some magical connection that makes it so we clearly hear what our children are saying, even when the words are jumbled, and possibly made up.
It doesn't work perfectly, (Example: It took me a few days to understand that the crazy hand signals B was constantly throwing out meant he wanted to listen to "Wheels on the Bus.") but most of the time I know what B is asking for, or telling me.
I think observing language development is one of my favorite things about raising a little one. B is in that stage where each day a new word pops up and it's fun to watch him try new sounds. He has a large chunk of words and is starting to string them together. B is also big on animal sounds right now, and of course the moon is still a favorite. He's been into planes and birds since we went to Hawaii, and every day something new and exciting interests him. In six days he will be eighteen months. I think that calls for a newborn picture.