Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pumpkin Patch, 2012

We decided this year to make a trip back to Dussel Farm to pick out some pumpkins and other fall-time decorative things. One can't beat their prices, but beyond that, their atmosphere is really cool. And speaking of cool, things have really cooled off in northeast Ohio in the last 18 hours. But it wasn't as cold as it was 2 years ago when we went with Lydia, at just 1 week of age.
Joining us this year were Grandma Paulette and Auntie Em w/ Ella. It helps to have four extra eyes watching our kids. Ella just rode in the Ergo, so she wasn't too hard to keep track of.
I've mentioned a bit in recent posts about Henry's speech development. It's been on the front of our minds because we thought we'd see more progress by four months, but that must have been an unrealistic expectation on our part. Interestingly enough, it seems to be on the front of some other minds, as well. The Kentucky family described in their recent blog post the stage at which their daughter is forming words, and the Minnesota family also described their situation, and we all seem to be at relatively similar points. Henry is still even a bit behind the two referenced here, and that's not surprising given that he's six months younger than they are. Chalk it up to one more area of their short lives that was impacted beyond initial comprehension because of their circumstances. These three each have had their own unique hand dealt to them, but it's awfully neat to see them go through similar stages.

To get specific in just how Henry is trying to communicate, he says some words that are pretty recognizable (snack, dog, yeah), but others... we just wonder how he matches up what it is that he hears from us with that which he hears from himself. For instance, he actually stays "step stool" pretty well. But until this morning, it sounded much like his version of "my turn." Don't ask why, that's not the point.

Last evening, as I was trying to help him say "my" by watching how I moved my mouth and by giving him big, happy facial expressions when he got close to saying it right, he became very frustrated. He started crying, and reverting to how he'd previously said it... "Di doon." And then you could see it on his face, he was trying to squeeze out the right pronunciation, but it was clear to me that he was acutely aware of his physical inability to do so.

"Mmmmmmyyyyy!!!" he'd say very loudly, and then get frustrated with his inability to say "turn" after correctly saying "my." It was all very sad. And in the midst of his frustration and crying, he was seeking neither hugs or an escape. He simply stood in front of me trying and crying. So sad... not only in the moment, but for all of the times in his early life that he had no positive re-enforcement, no one to give him a smile or a "YES!" when he said a correct sound.

Lincoln was showered with love and positive re-enforcement at critical times of speech development, as was/is Lydia. Yet Henry was not. The more I think of it, the more upsetting it becomes for me. And there are more like him, but that's too overwhelming to think about now. Instead, we take each opportunity to take little steps and make little bits of progress, building one little lesson upon another.

2012, 2010
On a completely different subject, I was darn near flabbergasted at the stunning display Mitt Romney put on in front of 67 million people. What a commanding performance. I'm torn between getting very emotionally invested in this election and not getting too emotionally invested, knowing that "this world is not my home." But I sure have to live in it for a while, and my kids have to grow up in it, so I'd like it to reflect the values that I'm teaching them at home. Given the media coverage of Election 2012, I could be forgiven for leaning toward a pessimistic attitude, but (a) remembering that the media has already made their choice, and (b) watching Romney wipe the floor with the President in front of a huge TV audience, I'm a bit more hopeful. We'll see in a month.

And Ohio State football is much more enjoyable this year than last. Go Buckeyes!

No comments: