Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Semi-Squished Girls

I saw Aidan's teacher this past weekend, and she told me what Aidan's reaction to Tuesday's earthquake was: "It feels like our trailer is being pulled by a semi!!" [a semi-automatic truck, that is, one that's designed to haul such items as trailers, a.k.a. "learning cottages."]


Leo was looking at the belly cast (made when I was pregnant with him) that we have hanging on the wall of the nursery. He asked me why it was there, and I said, "Isn't it so fun to look at and remember that you were in my belly one time?"

He responded, "It wasn't fun for ME because I got squished!"


After preschool, I was grilling Leo for details. He seems to have particular troubles with a boy in another class; they have squabbled before on the playground. Apparently, he wears striped shirts a lot. Leo said,

"There's a striped boy who's BAD, so you know what I said to Connor? I said, 'There are GIRLS to save.'"
Pax is as reluctant as ever to speak, yet his receptive language continues to grow exponentially. Sometimes I feel like a fool, talking to a near-mute at such great lengths, but then he demonstrates his clear understanding of everything I've said. I've had to devise clever ways of saying "I'm leaving" because he clearly understands I'm out the door, I'm heading out, I'll be back soon, I'm going now, I'm on my way... now I say I'm vacating the premises, I'm exiting the abode, I'm traveling elsewhere, choosing different and more creative expressions of the bottom line: Mommy's outta here!

He is patient and persistent in his efforts to communicate to us non-verbally, which makes his silence much more tolerable; there are no tantrums over misunderstanding the desire for coffee, not apple juice; for banana bread, not bananas; for the car keys, not the sunglasses. And I'm encouraged by his creativity. After an earthquake aftershock woke him up, I was telling Jeff what happened. Jeff asked him, "Did the shaky thing wake you up?" His eyes got big as he nodded, then made his body rigid while he shook his hands forcefully, illustrating the "shaky things." Similarly, he's grown fearful of big thunderstorms, and has devised a sign for "Boom Boom Thunder." He strikes his fist to his open palm several times, quickly, showing "Boom Boom!"

We like to joke that our kids are on a need to know basis when it comes to plans that are iffy, or when uncertainty is likely to upset the carefully-constructed balance in our lives. We think the joke's on us, though. We think Pax has decided that WE are the ones on a need-to-know basis, and he'll speak to us only when he decides we need to know whatever it is he has to say.

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