Something has happened this week. He seems to have crossed some sort of line from “boy who has a few words that you have to drag out of him” to “boy who can talk”.
In the last few months his eye contact has improved dramatically and his speech has been getting better and better. A few months ago he said his first spontaneous sentence, which he didn’t repeat much without being directed, but if you prompted him enough and were patient enough, you could get him to do it. Often he inserted a number in the sentence (“I want 5 swing”) and you would have to provide all the words for him several times, but he seemed to know if he gave you some combination of the words you were saying to him, he would get what he wanted.
Last Thursday, the boys were playing in the back yard when Webster ran in the house and yelled, “Mommy! Chandler said, ‘I did it’”! When I looked outside, he was playing on the hopscotch, which usually just meant he would step on the squares and shout out the numbers. Apparently he was so pleased with his performance that he had to tell the world.
That day and the next, he began coming up and holding my hand as he does when he wants something. The usual process is something like this: he pulls on me, I tell him to say “come on, Mommy”, he says, “come on”, he takes me by the hand to the thing that he wants, I try to get him to say the word, if he says the word, then I try to get him to say, “I want ___”, we spend two minutes trying to get the sentence out of him, then another minute trying to get the numbers out of the sentence, he may or may not get it depending on the difficulty of the word, then he finally gets the thing. However this is what happened. He looked me in the eye and said:
“I want swing.”
No dragging, no prompting, no numbers inserted, no waiting for minutes.
It has been a week now and he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
I want banana, I want peanut butter, I want phrazze (puzzle). He is now coming up to me and saying things I can’t understand because they are not words that he has used before and his pronunciation is rough. “I want jalses”. I have no clue what that means, but he says it with all conviction and looks at me intently for my answer. ‘Puzzle’ was one of these words that took me some time to figure out.
My decision to declare that my boy can now talk came yesterday when I was trying to offer him something to eat. I asked him if he wanted a banana and he seemed to be ignoring me and just babbling to himself, so I was only half paying attention to what he is saying. Here is what he said:
“Nanna.” ( he wants a banana). “Apple.” (oh, maybe he wants an apple). Inaudible. (some babbling that I wasn’t paying attention to because he can’t talk, right?) “Cherry on top.” (WHAT THE HELL???) “Uh-ohhh, oh-nooooo” “Kako” “Sorry”.
So as I stand there dumbfounded, I realize that he is reciting a scene from Oobi, one of his favorite shows, where Oobi and his best friend Kako go to the market and pile a bunch of fruit on the fruit scale. Kako puts a cherry on top of the pile of fruit and it all comes crashing down on him. He stands up and says “Sorry”.
My boy can talk.
He is requesting help by saying, “Hep”. Bringing me the flashlight and saying, “Flashlight on”. He is walking around the house saying his brother’s name, “Wester, Wester”. And when Scott comes home from work he is greeted with, “Hi, Darry”.
Chandler is well on his way back to us.
So if you see him on the street, make sure to say hi to him. Who knows what you will get back.