Thursday, September 13, 2007

Toddlerisms

Today was a difficult day, as my continued refusal to get adequate sleep is taking its toll. But it was also a lovely day: brightly sunny with an early fall crispness to the air.

Ada and I went to church this morning for her first MusikGarten class. My normally interactive daughter was stone-faced and solemn the whole time, just soaking it all in. It was not a terribly overwhelming experience, either, with only one other baby in the class this early in the year.

After "nap," we went back to church for Ellie's age-appropriate MusikGarten class, and Ada seemed slightly more comfortable. Ellie was almost unbearably excited the whole time, and there was lots of vocalization ("ehhhh!") and hand-flapping. These behaviors are becoming more frequent as she ages, which both puzzles and concerns me. As a baby/young toddler, she didn't do this at all. I'm being patient and hoping that part of it stems from her expressive language not quite keeping up with her emotional range at this point.

From the moment yesterday when I told her what today's schedule would be like, she's been talking about "Shoo-kick-Gar-en." By the end of today's class, she was already saying something that sounded a lot more like "music-garden."

For a long time, Elmo and Nemo were both "Elmo." Now they have their own names, or occasionally they're both "Nemo."

It's always a little sad when Ellie loses a cute little toddler way of saying or doing something. But, with Ellie, it's a bit of a relief, too, since it often takes her longer to reach each milestone, and a part of me wonders if she ever will.

What if her language never gets more understandable than this? What if she never does learn to jump? What if she never walks independently? That last is a reminder to myself that, of course, she did learn to walk, and before she even turned two. Likewise, she will jump someday, and she will continue to improve her enunciation and pronunciation, and someday I'll have moved on to wondering if she'll ever master keeping a safe following distance and using her turn signals reliably.

1 comment:

Tracie said...

This reminded me about Rachel saying "Elmo" when she was about two. It was one of only maybe 10 words she said at all, and she pronounced "ah-BHOO," but it meant four different things: Elmo, TV, videos, and the color red. We cherished it :-)

I know autism and Downs aren't the same thing, but I believe Ellie will astonish you with the things she masters and the person she becomes. If the me of 1996 or 1997 could have had any idea what Rachel would look like today, as a highly-functioning seventh grader, my jaw would have hit the floor.