The Pointer Sister

When I took Eilis for her well baby check up at 18 months old, I told the doctor I was worried because she wasn’t speaking as well as Brighid did by that time.  He asked me a few questions about how many words she said and things like that, and he agreed that she was probably behind in her speaking abilities.  However, he said, with an older sibling in the house in addition to her parents, there was probably little motivation for her to learn to speak.  All she would have to do was grunt or make some sort of noise and someone handed her 12 things and let her choose which one corresponded to that grunt.  He told me to stop giving her things that way and make her say the words.  If she didn’t catch on by her 2 year check up, we would seek speech therapy.  Within a few weeks, she was talking blue streaks.

Now we have Granuaile.  She not only has Jim and I, but Brighid and Eilis.  Also working in favor of her never learning to speak is the blood curdling, ear piercing scream she has that has the whole house rushing to her aid, picking her up, handing her things, trying to get her to stop the screaming.  The less often we hear that scream, the happier the house is.

But Grace doesn’t even have to make a gutteral noise, like Eilis did.  She points.  She will look at you, and point at what she wants – one finger, sticking straight out, directly at what she wants.  She has already run circles around the method we used to get Eilis to speak.  There is no doubting what Grace wants, because she is very exact when she points it out. 

I don’t know that it’s a bad thing that she doesn’t have too many words.  With all the other noise going on in this house, it’s certainly to my advantage to have a quiet child.  But all children must have their voices heard at some point.  We just have to find  a way to teach her that when we are at the point at which Grace must learn to use words, she can’t keep giving us the finger.

I’m Lonely

So during the day, on Tuesday and Thursday, I am at home, alone, with Eilis and Grace.  Most of the time, I think I do okay dividing my time and attention between the two of them – especially as Grace gets older and can sit and play with a toy for a few minutes by herself.  But there are still times, like when Grace wants a bottle and is falling asleep, that I HAVE to give all of my attention to her, leaving Eilis to find something to entertain herself.

Eilis has hated having to entertain herself, even when she was little.  Where Brighid could sit and play Barbies by herself for hours on end, or make up games and play them at length, Eilis always wants someone to play with her.  Even if she is on the computer, she still feels a need to call someone over to help her play, help her surf, or just look at what she is doing.

So yesterday, being Thursday, I was home with the two littles, when naptime came upon us.  Grace was rubbing her eyes, cozying up to me, and indicating she needed to go to sleep.  I fixed a bottle, and curled up in the armchair, and started to give Grace her bottle.  A few minutes and half a bottle in, the phone rings.  It’s Jim.  What am I doing?   I tell him.  How am I IMing him if I am in the living room?   I am not IMing him.  Well, he just got several messages from me, inviting him to play Jeopardy and some other on-line game, and the messages are littered with non-sensical letters and numbers, and OH, what’s this?   The end of a lenghty strand of letters that spell nothing are the letters eilis.  Hmmmm.  I call into the next room, where Eilis is supposed to be playing one of her computer games.  Eilis, are you on my computer?   No.  Eilis, are you doing something you shouldn’t be doing?   No.  Well how come Daddy is getting messages from you?   Okay, I’m lonely, alright?

Sometimes, kids will say stuff that makes you laugh until your belly hurts.  Sometimes, kids will say stuff that makes you feel like you’ve been punched in the stomach.