When Pudding was first diagnosed and we met Pudding’s first speech therapist, she asked how many concepts Pudding understood, such as big/little, high/low, up/down. All of them, I assured her. After all, this kid labelled a green hexagon at 20 months old, of course she knew that basic stuff. Of course, she didn’t. I didn’t understand the extent of her language difficulties at the time, I was duped by how much she knew, and didn’t think to question how much of it she actually understood.
So when Pudding’s therapist asked for the big doll, I was shocked when she gave her both the big and little doll in her hands. And so began months of unraveling my daughter’s words to see how many concepts she had figured out, and what we still needed to work on. Helping her second language become her mother tongue. And months have turned into years of offering a big or little choice, of trying to explain these relative concepts in almost every exchange. At some point, she understood. She would identify correctly, but I wasn’t convinced she truly got it.
Now I’m sure she finally gets it. The last couple of weeks, Pudding has been very
demanding assertive about her breakfast choices. Typically she demands that Daddy makes biscuits at the weekends, and I make pancakes in the week. It doesn’t always happen, because I’m not the best morning person (some of my family members just choked on that last statement), but when I cave and make her a batch of pancakes, she decides who gets which ones.
Big ones for Pudding, and little ones for Cubby, in her sweet sing-song voice.
A couple of times I’ve deliberately switched up her orders, and she has turned them back to the kitchen. She only wants the BIG ones. Well, at least until she has exhausted her supply, and then her brother’s little ones become very tempting once again.
And it isn’t just restricted to food items. She correctly identifies various items relative to each other. Yesterday I asked if her brother was big or little. Little, of course. How about Mummy? Big. Sigh, she is right on that one too…moving stress is bringing on some serious sensory cravings of wine and chocolate. I preferred it when she called me pretty!
The girl has it down. Another little concept that feels pretty big to me. Little step by little step, we’ll make some big progress.