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Monday, January 16, 2012

Comunication by Intention- adventures of the late talker

This has been an ongoing post that’s been being written over and over in my head for months now. But having had a few conversations regarding our youngest’s speaking and ways of communication over the past week, I thought it was a good idea to finally put my thoughts down in words.
For the purpose of this post, I will refer to our son as “sweet one”, it seems appropriate to his oh, so bias mom!
Sweet one has just past the 2 and a half mark, and will be 3 in July (gasp, choke). And from many people’s perspective his speech is really limited. Sure, many a time I get the “many children don’t talk fully until they are 4.” Or “one day he’ll just start talking in full sentences.” But I also often get those, sceptical raised eyebrows, or comments saying how their children were talking by 2 without a problem.
It’s true, when sweet one’s sisters were his age they were full blown chatter boxes. Born 10 months apart (I know), what the first learnt the second quickly picked up, and talking was first on the list. By the time the youngest sister was 1.5 we took a roadtrip across Canada, and we all were talking about what we saw, what we were doing, and where to go next. (Their talking so well proved a bit of a disadvantage, as I assumed they were older at the time. It still throws me a loop at what they don’t remember!)
Fast forward almost 7 years. The girls chat endlessly, they read prolifically and there minds are constantly on the go, jumping here and there, and constantly looking for more. And then there’s Sweet One.

Spiritually Aware Parenting really began with the arrival of our little boy. He was our trust baby, the experienced behind us baby… the born in our bedroom baby. Our daughters had to have the trials and experiments, that crossed between following our hearts, following what everyone else told us, and then what following fear whispered at night. By the time our little boy came, our hearts were winning pretty much every time. So with his birth, came the birth of my book and the Spiritually Aware Parenting notion.
From his pregnancy and on, there has been a sense of silent communication, and communicating through intention with him. It only took my focus and intention to hear for all to be understood.
So from small self taught actions, to literally grabbing my plate at 4mo to tell me he wanted to try eating, to simply eying something in a particular way. Sweet one’s first year passed seamlessly.
I hadn’t heard of teaching a baby sign until after this point and it was really too bad. For by the time I had heard, sweet one was already signing in his own way, letting his arm flow up in squiggled lines to represent an airplane he saw or other signals we were all present at him inventing.
But this is the point in the story where I always feel the fear, the hesitant, was he alright, did you get him checked out… with the under current of is he smart?
From early on we knew he could hear… no problem there. He also fully understands English. He listens so intently that he knows every word we use, and every intonation. I explained to him at 18 months why he couldn’t plug something in… he handed it to me without a fuss. Yesterday, I explained to him that his sisters had decided to have their chocolate later and he would be upset then if he had it now. He handed his over. Today, his sister asked for the hair brush, Sweet one slipped down from the table, left the room and came back with one, telling us it was behind the couch in the “televoom”.
Oh yes, at 2.5 sweet one speaks. He speaks a wonderful language. Which over the last week I’ve noticed is shifting and changing to sound like everyday English. It makes me sad, really. To hear cows being called “caws” rather than “ba’s.” and “dirty” is no longer “blechum”. But cats are still talked about with a meowing sound, and dogs given a semblance of a bark. Old MacDonald is always requested with “e-i-e-i-o”.
I know sounds pretty much like an average toddler, and maybe he is. I’ve an instinctual parent, I tend to do the research only after I’ve felt my way to a solution and really then only to find facts on what feels right. But here’s what I’ve wonderfully noticed, with his wonderful combination of sounds, words and actions, our son has limited his language to the simplest form, to what he needs to get the point across. No details, much like sign language, no adjectives or adverbs are needed.
Oh I know, I know, he’ll learn them. One day he will poetically describe all he sees. I get it, but I will say I’ll be sorry to see the end of the short hand form, the communication by intention form, when the world finally teaches him he might explain himself better with words. Right now, I think sweet one knows better than that.
Our son doesn’t have any sign of a cluttered mind. With clear intention he focuses on what he needs and expresses it. If he’s scared he tells me with a winced face and pretend cry. At Christmas, I was told he liked his present, a toy kitchen, with a “me, happy, hot (stove)”. There’s no torture, no search for words to express thoughts, he knows exactly what he feels and honestly tells us in fitting ways, without clutter or distraction.
If I could gain his clarity life would flow so much smoother.
Sweet one is almost always happy. He sometimes flips out, sometimes reacts to a “no”, or gets heartbroken with not being included in his sisters’ games. But it’s easy to read what’s wrong and he’ll happily sit on the stairs with mom for a quiet “talk”.
So yeah, maybe to some, our little boy appears to be a late talker. I see him as an advanced purveyor of intention. But then there’s the Sweet one, who sees himself as perfectly fine, taking each moment, appreciating it, and expressing what he feels with every core of his being. Yeah, he’s got it all under control.

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