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