Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Chatterbox

This morning at the breakfast table Ava asked the meaning of her Chinese names. I explained that the character for Jing that she was given means quiet and the character for Tang that she was given means sweet. She thought about it for a minute and then said, "quiet, really?" "Yes", I smirked. She thought about it for another minute and then quickly blurted out, " That doesn't really fit, I am not very quiet. I am pretty sweet though, so that one fits." A human life left unexamined is not a human life worth living, yes?

She then went on to observe that perhaps Liv should have been named Jing and she in turn should have been given GeGe, which means princess. Always love a gal willing to laugh a bit at herself, or then again I'm not entirely sure it was a tongue in cheek comment. Welcome to the world of Ava.

This was all interesting and in my opinion a quite fitting observation in Ava Jing Tang's part.

Olivia Xi GeGe, the happy princess remains a quiet one. Unless I have the audacity to move from room to room attempting to do laundry, then she is quite verbal, but in a whining sort of way that seems not Cantonese, not Mandarin, and certainly not English...although very almost 2 years old universal high pitched WHINE. (As in, you are not right next to me and I am in complete fear that by tossing a load into the dryer you will mysteriously disappear from my life forever and honestly I don't care all that much about clean jammies so stick nearby Momma for God's sake.)

Although, perhaps I am not being completely fair in judging Olivia's language development. We have had a huge breakthrough this week. She is now officially naming Ava. She looks right at her and calls her Vava. Which is pretty darn close if you ask me. She even points to the window when Ava is gone at school and says in a clear question, "Vava?" Meaning where is my five year old playmate?

Her language development, which has been professionally evaluated 2 times now and scores somewhere on the low but functioning normally range, remains a complete mystery to me. Why is it that she almost always gets the first 2 letters of a word and cannot get the last part even it it is only 1 more letter? Watch is wa...wall is wa...ball is ba....bus is ba....daddy is da....but mommy is mama. As you can imagine almost everything that comes from her is ba or wa or da...but rarely finishing a word. The speech therapist says this all counts as complete words and don't worry. Hmmm....I'm still not sure.

Perhaps I just got too used to having my Ava Jing chatterbox haunting my every move. I knew at every given moment what she was thinking, add in a touch of her dramatic and dogmatic self and there wasn't much mystery. With Liv, I sometimes pause at how unnerved it makes me to be living with this little short human who understands every last word we utter...but cannot in turn respond verbally.


Johnny said...

We totally get the same thing with ours.

Please is: plee

Anonymous said...

After nearly a year in speech therapy and no end in sight...I am with you, totally. It is a little unnerving, and I cling to every little bit of progress with both hands.

Take care.

Kristin said...

I think the second child is always less verbal than the first... they just don't need to communicate in the same way as they have an older sibling to do it for them!

SBird said...

It's the same here...'milk' is "mih" and 'papa' is "pa." The only two words she finishes are "mama" and "ayi." Go figure.

Ani said...

My son's ONLY word until 22 months was na-na. Na-na was water, ball, dog, children, food - everything and anything.
And, suddenly, it clicked for him. He started speaking and 4 months later we're up to sentences.
Even his dr is baffled...
My guess is that she will speak when she's ready to.
Hang in there.

Beverly said...

Glenys wasn't speaking at her 2 year check up so I asked the ped who said to relax b/c she heard cantonese for 15+ months of her life. Then as if the joke of not talking got boring, she broke out in 3 to 4 word sentences. Now she rarely stops esp. at bedtime or during an interesting book!!

Stinky PJs,huh?


OziMum said...

So cute that Ava is doing the "self-evaluation" thing re: her names!!! Too funny!!! Love the way, she says her sister can have the "quiet" and she'll take the Princess!!!

Harry never really talked, he'd get sick of me not understanding what he wanted, and just go get it/do it himself! Instead of asking for a drink, he'd go to the fridge, get the juice, then get a cup, and bring them to me ~ all without a word said!