Well, we’ve broken through one barrier only to find another waiting for us. Literally, less than a month ago we had a totally different looking toddler. That toddler rarely spoke at all choosing instead to gesture or say the word “da” for everything she absolutely needed to communicate about. I so wanted to hear her voice. I wanted her to imitate and try. I wanted to hear “mama”. I wanted that light bulb to switch on. I wanted her to know the power of the spoken word and what it can do for her. I never stopped to think about what might come next. Because I had never thought about it, I think I thought everything would magically be better once these things started to happen.
Well, all of those things have happened. It’s amazing! It really is a miracle and I am grateful. It’s the first step in a journey. Without this step, nothing else could happen. However, now it is clear that it was only the first step in what will be a long journey.
She gets it. She really does. And so far it makes her happy and proud. She gets that everything has a name that she can try to say. She knows mommy and daddy are excited that she’s talking. She gets that when she successfully communicates she gets what she wants and that talking is a powerful tool. When she’s thirsty she can ask for a drink. When she’s hungry she can ask for food. When she needs help she can get it. Her sounds and number of words have increased an incredible amount in just a few weeks. She’s trying to label.
So now I’m just starting to see how inaccurate her productions are. So many things come out incorrectly. There are so many things she cannot imitate at all. And she wants to say two words at a time. It will be two words that she can say separately. And yet when she tries to put them together she fails utterly.
And she’s starting to realize it too. She’s starting to get frustrated by our lack of ability to understand what she’s trying so hard to say. I want her to be proud. I want her to be successful. I want to protect her from the frustration and failure. But I can’t.