Two years ago when Shea was just about to turn 3 we were trying to get him to blow a cotton ball across the table. Just getting his mouth to work and blowing with enough force was an exercise that we worked on for quite a while. It seems like an age ago.
Referred from a friend, we were also just beginning private speech therapy with Bubble lady. He wasn't speaking at all. He was coming along well with signing, the whole family was and most of my excitement and enthusiasm at that time was over those strides.
Bubble took the signing as a good indication but never really pursued it with her therapy. She was going to teach Shea to talk and at first it was painful to watch. Sometimes it still is.
I remember a day where Shea was pushing cars on her window sill. Bubble gently took them away. Shea maybe grunted his annoyance but just stood there watching and waiting for what came next.
"1...2...3...Go!" She said and she pushed the car to him. "1...2...3...Go!" She said and he pushed it back.
Again, "1...2...3............................?" Waiting for Shea to say go was one the longest, most anguishing waits of my entire life. I literally screamed "GO!!!" in my head, again and again. Internally, I pleaded for him to just do it. I physically squirmed, it was so uncomfortable to watch. Bubble kept her cool. He knew what she wanted him to do. All he had to do was try.
I am not sure how long she coaxed and prompted him with the "1...2...3...?", multiple minutes perhaps which seemed like days, but he eventually said something that was a close enough approximation to "Go" that they could move on. They did those over and over again.
Bubble cheered and congratulated Shea on this big hurdle but I was a wreck. It was a very hard thing to watch. Like watching paint dry while having your heart rolled in ground glass.
There are a lot of little stories like that but my point for this post is how far he has come. Time is an amazing thing especially for the little guys. So much can happen in a year or two.
As we near Shea's 5th birthday, I am hopeful. He has come so far. I still don't know what it all means but we are still moving forward.
As I type, Shea has just come down from his bedroom ready for snuggies and interested in what I am doing on the computer.
So, I point out to him a simple, familiar childhood mini-sentence and he reads out loud to me, "1...2...3...Go!"
Yes, baby, you have come a long way.