About a month ago, we had Wookus tested for speech development. He had trapped fluid in both ears for some time, resulting in chronic ear infections. He would have awful temper tantrums, could barely string three-word-sentences together, and had significant pronunciation issues. Doctors eventually recommended surgery: a double myringotomy (tubes in both ears) and frenectomy (incision under the tongue).
We scheduled the speech evaluation post-surgery to make sure that any issues could truly be attributed to developmental delay versus hearing issues. Hubbie stayed home for the eval while I was at work. Three therapists from Early Intervention came with some toys designed for development assessment (a doll for identifying body parts, blocks to identify colors, a mirror to test his self-concept and awareness while speaking.) Wookus, reportedly, had a blast. When the therapists left, he cried. Then he threw his cars on the ground. (Note to self: get a doll, mirror, and blocks.)
We got the official report in the mail yesterday. Wookus is fine. More than fine: He is “thriving”, “intelligently communicates”, seems “secure”, and appears to be in a “loving, nurturing home.” He doesn’t need speech therapy.
The report came in a benign, bland manila envelope. But what was in it fascinated me. Not so much the numbers and metrics, but more so the process by which one can be deemed normal or not and the power this process has to make one feel normal or not. And one’s mother.
Hubbie usually does the daycare/preschool circuit, but for the past week, I have had to drop off and pick up Wookus from daycare. The extra 40 minutes with him a day have been priceless. Despite having to adjust my schedule, I’m grateful for those precious moments with him full of conversations, silly songs, or sneak peeks at him through the rearview mirror that on any other day would never exist.
“Look at what?”
“I got outside on my knee!”
Quick swivel to check out his knee.
“Oh, you have dirt on your knee. It’s called dirt.”
“Yah, I got dirt on my outside. On my knee.”
“Mommy wookit! I got rock!”
“That’s a cool rock, honey.”
“I want ‘noner rock. I want ‘noner rock, Mommy.”
“You want ano-ther rock? Ano-ther rock.”
“Honey are you hungry?”
“Yes. Yess. Yessss. Yessssssss. Yessssss. Mommy, I’m snake! Yesssss. Yessss.”
The joy on his face is priceless: The treasure trove of new words, sounds, expressions, connections, and self-discovery.