Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chatty Cathy

I realized today that my daughter has become a "Chatty Cathy". Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. It has taken quite a while to get to this point. As with many things Abby's speech has been delayed, but she's always been good at communicating what she's wanted. When she was really little we got her going on sign language, and she blossomed with that. It was such a wonderful breakthrough when she was able to ask for things all on her own.

From there she slowly replaced those signs with words, and then started putting them together. I feel like we hung out at the two and three word stage for quite a while. She latched on to those nouns and verbs and let us fill in the rest. At the end of preschool the speech therapists continued to encourage us to get her talking more and ask those W questions, and so we did. There were times when I felt like we were always asking her things like, "Abby, what's this?" or "Abby, who's that?" The poor kid couldn't get a break.

In the last six months or so though I've really noticed how much she is talking, and not just repeating what we are saying or responding to questions we've asked. She's giving us a wonderful window into what she's thinking - and I love it!

She's got this great gravely voice (which is very much like mine when I was her age), and at times she tends to be a bit loud. Yesterday I finally broke down and asked her to be quiet. I had to laugh when, instead of stopping the chatting she took me at my words and whispered, "Oh, okay Mama," then continued to talk - albeit a bit softer than before. 

The fact that she is coming up with her own ideas and phrases is wonderful, but it does present some challenges. I've discovered that context is really important. Sometimes it is difficult to understand what she's talking about, and that's where context can help me. If I know what she's been doing or watching I can more easily follow her train of thought, but sometimes that isn't possible. I have to hand it to her, she's very patient with us when we are trying to figure out what she's saying. She's got this adorable way of shaking her head and saying, "no, no, no" when we get it wrong. It doesn't surprise me then when I think she's said something that she really hasn't, such was the case tonight.

As I was picking up this evening she was sitting at the table finishing up her snack, when I paused in what I was doing. I could have sworn I heard her tell me, "Mom, get back to work." I stopped what I was doing and asked her to repeat herself - shocked that she would be so bold. Sure enough, she said it again, but then she continued and all became clear. "Get back to work, Mom," she said. "Making a quilt for Dada." See, I've been working on a sailing quilt for Jason (something that I'd promised him about 14 years ago), and there have been nights when we are both sitting at the table, me cutting out fabric and Abby cutting paper. 

Once I realized what she was telling me I laughed and told her that I would in a bit. She grabbed my hand to pull me in the room and said, "Come on, Mom. It will be fun!" How could I argue with that? She wanted to spend time with me, and so we sat across from each other, cutting away and enjoying each other's company. 

Soon it came time for bed and when I asked if she was ready for bed she quickly fired back with a, "No thanks!" and continued what she was doing. Yep, I love that Abby is speaking her mind, and I can't wait to see what other things she comes up with each day.

The result of Oreos - a happy smile and a funny mustache.

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