Monday, April 8, 2013

From Around the House: A twist on Calvinisms

Verbal.  It's a term you hear in the special needs scene.  Is he verbal?  Non-verbal?  What is his main form of communication?  Charlie's first mode of communication was Americam Sign Language.  What a blessing it was to have come along in the Down Syndrome parenting journey at a time when teaching sign language to babies and children, hard of hearing or not, was something people were doing.  As with many children with Down Syndrome, Charlie's receptive language developed much earlier than his expressive language.  When he started using sign language to communicate with us at 15 months of age it was not only a relief to be able to understand his needs, desires, and preferences, it was a gift to be able to begin to see there was a capable little boy in there.  A boy who was learning despite his challenges.  A boy who could connect with me with language. 

In our house we have a range of "verbal" going on.  There is Calvin at the fore.  Oh yes.  I would say he is quite verbal, wouldn't you?  He started talking as a young toddler, and never stopped.  Sometimes he wanders into our room at 6:30 in the morning and just starts asking questions.  Verbal is his thing.  Verbal is how he learns.  Verbal is how he creates his world of pretend play.  Verbal is how he connects with the people around him.  It is all verbal.  So very much verbal.

Charlie and Miles are neck-and-neck in second place.  They are about equal when it comes to intelligibility of speech, and by that I mean how clearly they articulate so others can understand.  Their sentences are about the same level of complexity, but Charlie has an edge as to proper use of language and, of course, content (the wisdom that comes with age).  We have a saying in our house that goes like this:  "And that's okay!"  We don't feel sorry for Charlie that his two year old brother is closing in fast in verbal ability.  Charlie learns more slowly, and that's okay!  He is learning.  Is progressing.  Is a capable, creative, receptive person who, more and more, has something to sayWhat is fun as these two sons of mine become increasingly verbal is the chance to hear what's on their minds. 

Anyway, all of this is to say the "Calvinisms" are increasingly accompanied by those of Charlie and Miles.  And, where verbal still fails, there is still always action.  So, "Calvinisms" posts are being converted to "From Around the House" posts--a mix of various "isms", snapshots, and photos from regular old family life.  A (hopefully) regular feature for our sweet family blog.  Ta-Da!  (Applause!)

So, here you go!

We were going out to the car to take Calvin to school the other day and the mailman was heading up the driveway at the same time.  Just then, Miles had the following revelation:

Miles:  Mailman hair not white.
Me: Nope.
Miles:  Mailman hair black.
Me:  Yep.
Miles:  Daddy hair is black.
Me:  (wait for it....)
Miles:  Oh!  Daddy is mailman!

Makes TOTAL sense!  ;)

Calvin calls our ground beef by his first name: "Mucho". As in, "Oh! Are we having Mucho for dinner tonight? He's some pretty tasty beef!" (Last year it was "One Eyed Willie".)  Super blessed to have an abundance of ground beef from Auntie Kassi's Humboldt ranch. It's Beef with a Name!
Charlie has begun to form lists in his conversations lately.  Here a couple:
On our way to pick Charlie up from school, the HSU mens running squad went sprinting through the intersection we were at.  This caused quite a stir from some really impressed little boys in the back seat, and Charlie says, "Wow!  I love running!  I love running like dinosaurs, kitty cats, and snails!" 
Charlie wanted to give a gift to his friend who was in the hospital.  When we were making a card for her he told me, "I want to give her rainbows, dinosaurs, crabs, and pirates!"

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