Monday, May 21, 2007

The Gift of Gab

K is fully recovered from whatever happened a week and a half ago, with no ill effects. All test results are normal, and we have a sedated MRI scheduled for June 22. She weighs so little (only 20 pounds) that no one will do it locally. Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. is the only place that will perform the procedure on kids her size, so that's where we're heading. Her eye is almost completely normal-looking (she has to look down for you to see a tiny smudge on the eyelid, like she got into my makeup), and she is acting like herself. Which means she's a chatterbox.
People warned me.

I found out I was having a girl, and people warned me.

It wasn't enough warning.

K chatters from the time she wakes up until she goes to sleep. She even talks in her sleep. Her vocabulary increases exponentially daily. In the last week, she's mastered "apple", "grandma", "grandpa", "cup", "drink", "more" (with sign language too), "all done", "Nemo" (as in, "Finding Nemo"), "Grover", "school bus" (I kid you not), and "purple", to name a few. And she understand the concept of color; rather, it isn't one object that she labels as purple, but she will find that particular color in different places and name it. She also tried "green" and "blue", but seems to prefer "purple".

I didn't get a chance to note this before the craziness of the last week or so, but she has also mastered the word, "no". We were driving home from church, and she started screaming because she wanted out of her car seat. No dice, we're driving down I-70, so she just has to deal with it. I turned around and said, "K, you need to be quiet because Daddy needs to drive." She said what sounded like "Me?" I thought, surely not, but I looked at her and said, "Yes, you! You need to hush!" She says, very clearly, "No." I whipped my head around and looked at her, said, "Yes!" She quite distinctly arched one eyebrow superciliously and says, "No!" again. At this point, Z is practically choking from trying not to guffaw, and is leaned forward over the steering wheel, shaking with laughter. He then gives it a shot: "K, you need to be quiet!" She tells him "no" too, and suddenly it isn't as funny. "Yes ma'am, you hush!" "No!" So Z reaches around and pops the top of her foot (he couldn't exactly get to her diaper-covered tush right then). She gets mad and yells for a minute, then quiets down. And very softly, after a moment, we hear her say, "No." again, under her breath. Z pops her foot again, and that was the end of that.

Brother A is coming along nicely, too. I think K challenges him to say more, because all of a sudden he's trying to sing "Ring a ring of roses" and name the days of the week in response to sister's incessant verbalization. We're working on getting phrases out of him now, instead of single-word requests. For example, instead of just saying, "Please" or "drink", we want him to say "drink, please". It's a slow process, but we're getting there. His ABA therapist is aggressively tackling this, and it is working. We're trying to keep up her tactics here at home, not giving him what he wants until we get a phrase ~ so it gets loud when A digs his feet in and doesn't want to do it. The outbursts are dwindling, though, so I really think it won't be long before 2-word phrases become the norm for him. Yay!

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