A few weeks ago I needed to fill out a basic questionnaire for our speech pathologist appointment. When did Blue Jay first sit up? When was her first word? What was it?
I am horrible with the whole “baby book” thing. I had one and I gave it away. I realized though that I never really wrote down those moments outside of this blog or the journal that I keep (and have recently neglected more than this blog). I need to do a better job of keeping track (and taking pictures). So I am going to try to catch up . . .
Blue Jay turned 3 back in April. When we first found out I was pregnant, I wanted a boy. I was terrified of having a girl. I didn’t know what to do with a girl. I had brothers. I was a tom-boy. I wasn’t into skirts or dresses, or cheerleading, or makeup. Honestly, someone else knew what I needed first, and I needed Blue Jay. She is an amazing big sister who adores her little brother and little sister.
She is so helpful (98% of the time) and attentive to everything around her that I forget most days that she is only 3.
Every evening when R comes home she makes sure that he says hi to Froggy before taking off his shoes or coming to table to eat dinner. She makes sure that Speedy gets “his song” at bedtime too. Whenever she gets a snack out for herself, she always gets two; one for herself and one for Speedy. She clears everyone’s plate off the dinner table when we are done and helps put everything in the dishwasher. She helps fill bottles for Froggy. She helps set the table before dinner. She makes sure that everyone has a drink . . .
and most days:
Me: What do you want to do today?
Jay: Go shopping
Me: What do you want to go shopping for? what do you want to buy?
Jay: We should buy toys for Froggy and fruit packs for Speedy
She is already learning how to “suggest” things instead of asking or telling you what to do. I wonder where she got it from? It isn’t “give me this” or “do such and such”, its “I think we should clean the floor now” or “I think we should go outside” (and she does suggest that we clean the floor, for whatever reason both she and Speedy have taken to cleaning the wood floors in the house as a form of entertainment – and they do have toys tons and tons of toys, just sometimes the swifter thing and a spray bottle win over the princess dress and trampoline).
But she is just 3.
About a year ago or so, we realized that her vocabulary seemed limited for her age or maybe she was just quiet (or both). Our doctor said to work with her and wait a bit and see if it improved. Her vocabulary has improved and she will sit and talk and talk (once she warms up to you which can take 15 minutes to a few days). She is able to formulate sentences. Her hearing is fine and probably better than fine. If you talk about her while she is in the room, she will react to what you are saying. Even if she isn’t in the same room, she reacts (and so we have to be extremely careful about what is said). But she can’t say a “K” sound (same as a hard-C”) or a “G”. So, she and I have started “classes” with a “teacher” (speech pathologist) to “practice our sounds”. Honestly it is kind of interesting. I never really thought about how we learn certain sounds and where are of the parts of our mouth go or do to make a particular sound. To make a “K” sound your tongue needs to be down, on the floor of your mouth, if it isn’t and its floating around, your “K” sound will become a “T”. Same goes for a “G”; it will become a “D”.
And last Tuesday at our class, Blue Jay was 3. And she was me at 3. Who stood off to the side, just watching, but certainly not ready to join the teacher and me singing (horribly) about “B” being the bouncing sound.
I really didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t force her to sit in a chair and sing. Technically, I could force her to sit in a chair, but I couldn’t make her sing. I could threaten her with time out or a spanking, but I knew that she wasn’t doing it to be difficult, she just wasn’t comfortable. And so I let her just stand and watch. When we left, she took her notebook and held it all the way home, practicing her sounds in the back seat of the car. When we got home, she took our her notebook and found some markers and began coloring the pictures for each of the letters, still practicing her sounds.
Thursday went mildly better. She did sit in the chair, but she still wasn’t ready to sing . . . .
Wednesday we had an eye doctor appointment. She was great. She answered the questions and let the doctor dilate her eyes. She enthusiastically took to the idea of getting to wear glasses.
I wear glasses – now primarily contacts – but I didn’t know I needed them until I was 16 or 17. I don’t really every remember having an eye exam. And honestly I had no idea how an eye exam for a child would work, but it can be done. After reading more about it afterward online (thank you google), apparently even infants can be screened and can wear glasses or contacts.
On Saturday, as a family of five, we went to Costco to pick out frames. She wasn’t so enthusiastic anymore, but she agreed to some purple ones with the promise of a purple pair of shoes to match.
This morning while getting dressed, she picked out a pink tank top that was mine from when I was her age,
Jay: Who got this for me? (she keeps an inventory on where her clothes came from, from me, or Gramma, or Mimi, or whoever)
Me: That was my shirt when I was little.
Jay: So you got it for me?
Me: Well, Grama got it for me when I was little and when it no longer fit, she saved it.
Jay: She saved it for me?
Me: Yes, she saved it for you.
Jay: And for Froggy?
Me: Yes, for you and for Froggy.
Jay: That is so nice.
Yes, Blue Jay, it is so nice. And I am so lucky to have you, because you are the little girl that I never knew I needed so much.