Saturday, October 11, 2008

Having His Say

Someone new is living in our house. He is small. He has a big personality. He talks all the time.

Actually, it is Matt. At age 3 1/2, he has started talking. In a big way.

We have been praying for this. We have been working on it, with therapists and teachers. It has been a long time coming. 

At age two, Matt only said "uhh." Since it was all he said, Sarah even wrote "uhh" in pictures she drew of him. We attended the "Twos" reading group at the library; my heart broke each week when each child clearly said his name as well as his parent's. We were trying hard just to get Matt to nod "yes" and "no."

At age three Matt learned to say his name. This was good. You could see him working so hard. I kept a notebook of every word he said.

Then there were more words. He was much happier (no more biting at preschool). There were fewer tantrums at home. We could take him more places and do more things. He even slept better. All summer he repeated everything we said. He didn't initiate any sentences himself but we could understand his words.

And in August, he started saying sentences (I tossed the notebook). When he started preschool in September, Matt started asking questions. He was saying what he wanted to say, instead of parroting everything we said. He said "I love you."

This week, amidst family stomach flu (can you believe even the dog threw up?), bathroom flooding, and a dip in the family savings (that made me nearly throw up), he made an even bigger leap. He said "Sarah."

He laughed when he said it. The two of us were at Target by the deli counter. He said it over and over.

Matt has always called his sister (and best friend) "Doo-dah." Both the S and R sounds made the word impossible for him. The two sounds are still hard for him but he can approximate it so closely; it is like a lock almost ready to snap in place.

Home from Target, he burst through the door to run to her. Matt being able to say her name was a gift to Sarah (who barely tolerated "Doo-Dah").

It's been a few days now and he is still giddy when he says it. All of us smile when he does.

That's not all he's learned to say this week. He's had all kinds of sentences. They are like little pieces of pretty fabric in my head.

"Look at the engine in my truck." [I was so excited to hear that we went outside to open my car hood to peer in.]

"I don't want to be called Mattie." My name is Matt."

"Don't get near me - I want you to stay away."

"Do you have mac and cheese? I really want to eat mac and cheese."

"I want to watch the dog movie now. You know, the movie with the white dog?"

"Can I take a lunch in the bag tomorrow to Miss Dana's school?"

Each day there are more sentences, connected words. All the words. 

Besides saying "Sarah," my favorite one this week is "Mommy, are you mine?"

Yes, Matt. I am all yours. I am here sitting by you, listening to you, waiting with you, as you do everything in your very own time.


amywb said...

This made me cry, Ann. And gives me hope.

Thimbleanna said...

What a beautiful post. And if only all mothers would remember that last line -- each child is different and does things in their own way. Good for Matt!

Liita said...

Words...little jewels! First a ring, then a bracelet, before you know it, you'll need a box! What a treasure!

Robin/Indy said...

How sweet... I didn't realize Matt had that problem, just thought he was shy when I saw him at Cami's. My grandson had severe speech problems and he was enrolled in the First Steps program at 2 1/2 yrs old (at his house). At 3 he went to school (picked up by a bus) and gradually now at 9 1/2 everyone can understand everything he says (not just family). And he's doing good in school. That's one school/govt program that really came though for our family.
I can hear the joy in your heart.
Always, Robin

La Cootina said...

Hooray for Matt! I hope he enjoys learning and sharing and expressing himself, while retaining his independence. This was a lovely, moving post; thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I was crying too! I'm so happy for you all!