Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In Which Addison Says GO

Last night I was on my own for dinner and baths for the kids. It had already been a long afternoon of cleaning up weekend disasters, saying "No more iPad today", and "I SAID NO MORE IPAD TODAY" (super sweetly of course), begging them to at least try the yummy chicken tacos that I slipped copious amounts of avocado into, and picking them off the kitchen counter for the 100th time (seriously they love to climb). By the time we reached bath time, my patience was considerably thinner than it is when I have Aaron's help during the hardest two hours of the day- getting ready for dinner, serving dinner, getting ready for baths. The most wonderful, sweetest, most amazing days all seem to crumble into screaming tantrums and blatant disobedience during those last two hours (sometimes the kids act out too). It's a curse. The "IT'S ALMOST TIME TO SLEEP??? NO!" curse.

Even though low on patience while finishing up the bedtime curse sequence, I had a plan. I placed the older two kids in their bath full of bubbles and play balls and tried to get them busy playing and occupied so that I could bathe Eli on the floor next to them in his bath.

I filled up Eli's tub; the older two were playing; everything was on track....until the older kids decided that they were DONE and were going to climb out of the tub by themselves thank you very much. I hadn't even bathed the manky infant smell off the smallest of them yet, so I tried to appeal to their competitive side.

I sprayed both of their chests with shaving cream and enthusiastically said "It's a race!!!! Let's see who can spread the shaving cream all of their bodies first!!!! YAYAYAYAY!!!" Sometimes the "YAYAYAY" will get the most bored of toddlers skipping along. Sometimes not.

They both stared at me as though my second head just sprouted a third nose.

Ignoring them, I enthusiastically held both arms up into the arm and dramatically shouted "REEEEAAAADDDDYYYY SSSSEEEETTTT.......GO!" while lowering one arm down as if holding a flag.

They continued to stare. Addison was the first to react. She got a strange glint in her eye, raised both arms over her head, lowered one dramatically as if holding a flag, and shouted "GO!" before dissolving into giggles.

Her "Go" was clearer than my "Go".

Interesting fact: we haven't taught her the word "go". It was never written on her word card sent home from school, and never once has her speech therapist mentioned working on this word with her.

For the longest time, we slaved over one word at a time. Weeks turning into months turing into years- we worked and worked and worked on a handful of words. I was discouraged at her lack of progress. Maybe she would be mostly nonverbal? Should we go back to full time sign language?

And suddenly over the last few weeks? Her vocabulary is exploding. Every day she's repeating new words that she's only heard us say in conversation- NOT worked on in a therapy setting. She's putting two words sometimes three together, she's placing ownership over things with a loud "MINE!" or "MY CARD". She's asking very clearly for what she wants- drink-wise, food-wise, activity-wise.

This morning while changing Eli's diaper, I heard Addison and Carter talking behind me

"Baby. Baby. Daddy? sdlkfnslfnlsd Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?" (Addison)
"No. Daddy is at work. In truck. Work. Daddy." Replied Carter
"Cereal? Cereal? Cereal? My Cereal?" Addison turned to him
"BLUE Cereal!!!!" Replied Carter
"cereal cookie cookie COOKIE!!!!" (Addison)
"cookie. I WANT COOKIE! I WANT iPAD! iPAD" (Carter)

and it went downhill from there. It just cracks me up to hear their conversations and how much Addison is now adding to them.

She has plateaued for so long with speech, it is amazing to see her make so much progress so fast! She'll grab hold of a word and repeat it over and over again until she gets what she wants or needs. Apparently she has started bellowing for her aide (Mrs. T) every time she leaves her side at school.

"T! T! T! T! HELP! T! T! HELP! T! T! T!" until her aide comes back. We're working on the "Please come help me, Mrs. T", but I'm not gonna lie- pretty pleased with the progress (even though it sounds a little demanding written down like this).

Last night while she was in the bathtub, I paused, speechless for a moment after she shouted "GO" because I was so amazed at the clarity with which she said it and amused at her spot on imitation of me. (I was even OK with the subtle mocking)

I am just so proud of her, pleased with her progress, and surprised by her daily as she says words I never thought I would hear cross her lips. She's four and just now taking off with her language? Don't even care. It has been worth waiting for. (-: Can't wait to hear what she says next.

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