For the past few months, Nathan’s had a weekly visit with a speech therapist. Every week, we hear more about his progress and areas where he still needs help. I know his speech is frustrating for him and yet we have to push. I have to pretend that I don’t know what he says, even though I know, as his mother, what he means. Whenever he’s not enunciating and I know that other people wouldn’t understand him, I have to ask him what he wants, and that he has to ask for it again. I tell him that I’m happy when he asks for things and when he uses his words.
But it’s work. It’s real hard work but Mike and I are committed to helping our sweet little boy. We bought a copy of Your Baby Can Read. I was hesitant at first because those commercials are so goddamn annoying with their higher-than-thou parents who are so full of themselves and how their precious child is now calculating physics problems and plays basketball because he’s so well-rounded! Bleeeech. Whenever I see that ad, it’s like that Stephen King story when the kid holds his breath while his family travels through space and when everyone else comes to, he’s already gone insane because, “IT’S LONGER THAN YOU THINK!”
That aside, he’s fallen in love with the all the dvds, flash cards and books. He can read the words. He brings the DVDs to me and calls them his “games.” Whenever the words appear on the screen, he’s so eager to tell me what it is, as if I just came to this country and “hippopotamus” is something else in my native language. He’s become so excited about reading, I just need to harness that energy and apply it to the spoken word. I don’t think this system works for everyone. With anything geared toward kids, it’s an experiment, and with this one, it’s worked for us with our particular situation. I just don’t want to see that commercial ANYMORE.
He has made tons of progress since we started this route this past summer. Nathan’s first full-sentence came one night when I was pinching his thick legs as I am wont to do. In my culture, if you see a chubby child and you want to squeeze him, you have to follow through or else he’ll get sick. To his health! I had then moved up to that squishy toddler butt and I got enough skin between my thumb and forefinger that he yelped. He ran off down the stairs and I heard him yell to his father: “Daddy!??! MOMMY HURT MY BUTT!”
Mommy. hurt. my. butt. A complete thought! Subject, object, verb, yada yada, but not a truncated bit like, “Mom. Butt. Hurt.” A COMPLETE THOUGHT FOLKS! I almost burst into tears and later, I told Mike what had happened. He looked at me and flatly replied, “Yeah. That’s exactly what I’ve been waiting to hear his whole life: ‘Mommy hurt my butt.'”