I've found that there are many things that get my son to speak more: food, pages in his favorite books, music, and anything he does that gets him praise.
"Cookie," "more," "juice," and "cup" are words that he says a lot because they all involve filling his belly. He can ask for "more" nicely
now, instead of screaming
it. He also uses the sign for "more" when he wants more to eat. He's come a long way in such a short time. "Moon," "dog," "sun," "plant," "book," and a slew of other words all come from his favorite books, which is no surprise to me. He loves
to read. He also loves music. When I sing to him and leave out certain words, he's quick to chime in with the words that I've omitted. When he identifies common items in our home, we praise the bejeezus out of him and it makes him do it more often. And when he says the names of the people in the pictures on our walls, it makes me want to cry
. His voice is so sweet and so innocent. It's music to my ears.
I've noticed a considerable decrease in his spinning and humming since I've been hell-bent on keeping him super busy. It's so easy
to distract him from doing it. That's what makes me think he's not
autistic. He's also very into eye contact on a regular basis. He's not off on Planet Jack anymore. He responds quickly. I think the intake coordinator for the state's early intervention program was right. I think Jack would spin and hum out of sheer boredom. He's got cabin fever, like the rest of us. Last spring, summer, and fall, he'd walk almost two miles a day outside with my Dad. Being stuck in the house in winter will make anyone bored, especially a two-year-old. Can you imagine an 18-month-old walking two miles a day outside? That would be my Jack. Amazing, isn't it?
I've been giving him a shiny, deep cookie sheet with a little water in it to play with. He adores it. And he's really digging the Play-Doh. He has never tried to eat it with me there, although he has tried to eat it when my MIL gave it to him.
We've had a lot of fun moments during playtime and a lot of teachable moments. Jack is much more receptive to learning if he's happy (e.g. full belly, dry diaper, not a care in the world, etc.).
He has added dozens of words to his vocabulary in the last few weeks, so I'm hopeful about his state evaluation on Wednesday. He'll be seen by an occupational therapist, a speech pathologist, and a developmental therapist who will assess his skills. I'm nervous, but not as much as I was when the pediatrician told me that it was "abnormal for him not to be speaking in two word sentences yet." It seems as if Jack overheard our concerns, saw that Mommy was upset, and decided that it was time to break his silence. He's a totally different
boy now. I shit you not.
In other news, Liv is trying to cruise. She has officially by-passed crawling and is fascinated by what her feet and legs can do for her. She stares down at her feet when she's standing, as if she's trying to tell them to go, go, go. Today, I took off her socks to see if she would be more receptive to walking/cruising. She liked being barefoot much better, which is no surprise to me. I have a feeling that in a few weeks, my baby's going to be much more mobile and I'm going to be crying because of it. Why can't she stay little forever? She has come so far since her premature birth. My girl is feisty; she's a fighter, like her Mama.
I tell ya, these babies keep me very, very busy. I feel like I'm on my toes constantly, always "on." I love 8pm because that's when I know they're both asleep and I can put on my jammies and look back on the day's events. I am always pleased with how much we've all learned from
each other, because of
each other, and about
each other. Does it get any better