Thursday, May 10, 2007

Conversations With Henry

Henry is talking a lot these days, even using a lot of sentences, but I can't always understand him. Yesterday in the bathroom, Henry hovered over the toilet and said, "I stand go peepee fall down boom boom" and then spit emphatically. I asked for clarification. Henry repeated, vigorously, "I stand go peepee fall down boom boom!" and spit again. I got most of it, I think, but I'm not sure about the spitting part.

For whatever reason, Henry is obsessed with spitting these days. He spits his yogurt out repeatedly onto the dining table. He spits at me. He offered me a lick of his lollipop and when I declined, he spit in his hand and politely offered me a bit. And he really uses this spitting to communicate. He thinks it is an expression of emphasis, I think. But he also seems to understand the literal meaning of the expression "to spit out." The other day I told Henry to spit out his gum, just as he was taking it out of his mouth with his hand. He looked at me for a moment, puzzled, then put the gum back into his mouth and spit it directly onto the counter, along with a small puddle of saliva.

I think that something has clicked in his brain recently and he now understands my words much more than he recently did. But, of course, he still doesn't understand many of the nuances of expression (although he is forging ahead in his makeshift, spitting-for-emphasis way). I asked him to hang up the phone the other day, and instead of placing it back into the receiver on the counter, he started looking up in the air for somewhere to put it.

How is it that Henry's language development seems so miraculous to me? I've gone through it all before with Luke. But somehow, it seems new and story-worthy, even the second time. Maybe, like the fuzziness of memory that surrounds childbirth, this is one of the blessings that we are given as mothers: that watching a small baby grow toward a life of his own is fresh and exciting, each and every time.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I love this post, and especially the last line. It is such a miracle to watch a new life develop.