That’s right, my little boy! He says “nose” and “toes” and “apple” and “pear”. He is just about there with the second syllable of “mama” and “tata”. He pointed to a picture of DD today and said the first syllable of her name.
But what I find even more exciting is he seems to have developed the same love affair with letters that his sister had at that age. He’s been able to identify all letters of the alphabet for some time now, but recently we started reciting the alphabet together and he can say up to “E” and is struggling with “F”. Then, out of the blue the other day we were reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and he goes and points to “C” and says “C!”. Woo-hoo! From then on it’s his new obsession: book titles, acronyms (like “VPL”, which is all over the Vancouver Public Library), and the author letters stuck on the spines of paperback fiction books in the library. He sees a letter, points to it, and names it and nobody asked him to! I am just tickled.
When you hear him speak, you can really begin to appreciate how difficult it is for him. He draws out his sounds, slurs them in a way that almost reminds me of deaf people speaking. I find it endearing, but a little sad as I wonder how long it will be before he figures out he isn’t speaking like other kids his age. I don’t know how long his speech will be affected like this, which is reason #246 why I’m so glad we are homeschooling. Anyways, right now I’m still mostly just awed to hear words coming out of his mouth, and so damned proud of my little guy! The smile on his face when he says things and realizes we are getting it just melts my heart.
I’m also finding that his speech issues are presenting me with many interesting challenges on my part. For example, I am constantly having to remind myself that he is not a baby anymore. He is over 2 and capable of dealing with alot more than I give him credit for. He’s also probably interested in more than I give him credit for, like the alphabet! Thank god for self-driven children. I swear, if kids had to depend on their parents to teach them anything we’d all be in trouble, lol. If only more people could trust in that ability as their children age instead of believing we have to make them jump through hoops to learn anything. But that’s another subject…
I’m also finding myself falling victim to the “big, dumb guy” stereotype – and he’s my own child! It is hard to think of someone as bright when they can’t talk. I mean, I can see clearly where some of his skills lie (puzzles, physical activities), but with this alphabet thing I’m recognizing that he is likely shining as brightly as his sister did (does) when it comes to more “academic” persuits. I’m determined to really open up my eyes and start challenging him with daily tasks that, until now, I haven’t considered doing with him. I don’t mean “school stuff”, just activities, etc.
Finally, I’ve written about this annoying shriek he has. His tendency to scream at the top of his lungs. And all the other annoying, repetitive vocalizations he makes when frustrated, needy, grumpy, clingy, etc…I’m starting to realize that, in order to avoid being subjected to this, I’ve been giving in to him as often as possible. He is old enough, and understands enough, to hear “no” once in a while. I am NOT doing him any favours by not allowing him to, as Neufeld says, “move through frustration to futility”. This is absolutely critical for him. Sure, it may be loud and grating on the ears, but he can get through things and I need to help him realize that. In fact, it could very well be that helping him through this, rather than trying to stave it off, will reduce the incidence of these aural assaults.
So yay for my little boy and all he’s doing for himself, and those around him.