Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just Say No

I never thought there would ever be a word that our mostly-mute boy Pax would love to say more than "Mama," but I was wrong.

There's a new word in town, and that word is....

(Can you guess it? Those who know me best thought it might be of the four letter variety, but--)


That's right - topping the charts as "most frequently used and most beloved word ever: No." He uses it because he can. Because it (finally) sounds so good, after lots of practice. He uses it because he knows it is powerful, because it gets a reaction, because it is a valid response. He uses it even when he means yes. (And he has that word, too, but No is so much more fun.)

"Pax, do you want your other shoe on?"
(...then hands me the other shoe, to put on his foot.)

"Pax, would you like some milk?"
(then digs out a cup from the drawer and hands it to me, pointing impatiently at the carton of milk.)

"Pax, do you love Mama?"
"No!" he says. And grins.

(This prompted me to try out the double negative. Pax, do you not love Mama? He peered at me, quizzically, then walked away.)

Armed with this newly discovered power and skill, Pax decided to try it out on the cat one morning. Alice was scratching the wooden door frame, and Pax rushed over to her, wagged his finger in her furry face and said in a sing-song voice, "No, No, No, No, Nooo!!!" If ever there was a moment I wish I'd had on video, it was that one. Luckily, Leo was witness to his admonition as well, and we laughed over it many times that day, trying, to no avail, to get him to do a repeat performance.

Of all the words Pax has learned to say over the past few months, I never thought I'd be so excited over this one - but I am. Just say no, baby, just say no.

Other words in Pax's daily vocabulary include...

Words we've gotten him to say on occasion....
Whooo.... (like an owl)
Maaaa (like a goat)
Baaaa (like a sheep)

Our quest to the speech acquisition finish line has been more tortoise, less hare, but words like NO feel like giant leaps.

And when the road to the finish line feels weary and tired, Pax's humor spurs us onward. Last week, when Katie (his speech therapist) was here, he was pretending to eat one Matchbox car after another, in rapid succession. He made the requisite "um-um-um-um-um" noise for each car, then finally finished his meal, looked at us straight on, and said with a barely concealed smile, "BURP."

1 comment:

Susan said...

I am waiting for the day we can add "Grandma" and "Grandpa" to the list of words he uses often~