So, you know how I have been stressing lately about my child's challenge with articulation? Well, right after pouring my heart out for two days in a row about it, this happened…
It was early in the morning and I was getting the children ready for the day. Playette was and Dez's room with him while I stepped out to grab something from her room. They were looking out of the window at our neighbor's house across the street. The neighbors were getting some work done so there was a really tall ladder in their driveway.
My children were oblivious to the fact that they could not be seen or heard three stories up. So what did I hear Playette say?
"Hi, nafer! (pause) Neigh. Bor. Neighbor."
She didn't know that I heard her.
This is huge, y'all. This means that she's paying attention. I always knew that she tries so hard, but this was just what I needed to remind me of how capable she really is in this area. It's all in her own timing, but she's taking it all in, processing it, and making progress.
Usually, when she addresses or refers to the neighbors when we're outside she says "nafer." I stop and gently correct her and break the word down.
I know that she knows the sound that a horse makes, so I ask her and she says "neigh."
I know that she knows the proper reaction to cold temperatures, so I ask her and she says "brr."
I ask her to put those two sounds together and she says..."nafer."
This has been going on for quite some time. But, in every instance, we repeat the same dialogue.
This time though, she got it. There was no pressure, no fear of disappointing anyone. Maybe that's the key? I don't know.
Does she speak clearly when no one is around?
If a tree falls in the woods...
I know the words are in there. It just takes more effort on her part. And so many times, she's so excited about what she has to say, that she doesn't slow down and take the time to parcel out her phrases. It's a difficult lesson to learn…for both of us, I think.
So when I heard that wonderful word, "neighbor," I ran into her room, picked her up, and swung her around. I gave her hugs, kisses, and high-fives. I celebrated like it was every holiday rolled into one.
You'd think that after six years that I would get it. That I wouldn't stress out, or cry, or worry so much. You'd think that I would know to just be patient and allow that amazing feeling to happen when it all just clicks.
Because it does happen.
I'll keep trying.
I'm not there yet, but I want to be.