"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, April 23, 2010

Childhood Expressions

... I'm participating in Dr. Barbara Boucher's blog carnival over at Therextras.com.  Her theme this time around is about Childhood Expressions.  I can think of no other post that expresses Nathan ... and his unusual language ... than borrowing some good insightful info from a condensed previous post.  I give you: 

'Eyes OK'

We've had our share of ups and downs with all things Nathan related. Being the possessor of an extra chromosome has its advantages and disadvantages. A few of the downers are health, physical, cognitive and speech challenges.  For example, On Wednesday he had an appointment with an ophthalmologist which went something like this: The doctor's Assistant persuaded Nathan to sit in the big up and down exam chair. "Please read the top line in the mirror." She had little insight that he has unintelligible speech ... but soon switched from letters to numbers. After I informed her that she might try shapes, she dug out a slide with stencil looking animals, a car, house, etc. This proved pointless and she gave up. All the while he's trying to ask her if she plans on giving him a shot. Next, in comes the doctor. He plans on putting eye drops in Nathan's eyes ... but first is asked something about a shot. "No, we don't give shots here." In go the drops and after a few minutes, the 'dance' of unintelligible communication proceeds between the doctor, Nathan, and myself. I was the interpreter, and calming force. Somehow, the doctor, with the help of his hand held lenses, was able to deduct that my child is farsighted and has an astigmatism ... but does not need glasses.

Lost In Translation:

Here is a sample of Nathan's vocabulary:

ice (said while pointing to his eyes) = he's thirsty and wants some ice water. Since ice and
eyes sound alike ... he points to his EYES.

mirror = "come here"

boom = the name he calls his 'security blanket' which just
happens to be a little plastic yellow garden spade

Ma = all things related to Mom (me)

KeeKee = (older sister)

Wowa = (older sister)

baby = nephew Jacob

Ha-nee = Holly, his dog's name

eee-eee = said while signing to eat

no = no (the same in every language) his favorite word

nu-do = noodles/pasta

cut = splinter

bee off = make the (bee sting) pain go away

bee off blip = the pain is gone

Words he uses sign language for:

French fries, cookie, please, sorry, help, water, sleep, potty, eat, chips,
baseball, basketball, soccer, book, cat, ready, play, friend, Jesus, fruit, more,
ketchup, NO, days of the week, happy, sick,

edit: the sign for 'vagina' was used incorrectly (much to my horror) as his sign for his Playstation Game. Two acquaintances asked if I knew what he was signing ... well, we now have an appropriate sign for the word game being used. :)

As you can imagine, one has to be well trained to be his mother ;)

Did I mention he's the joy of my life???

Is it any wonder that I've installed a Voice4u app on my iPhone.  This application has touch screen icons with an audible 'voice' that he can scroll, tap & touch to help make known more of his needs and wants.  If you are interested, check out the website here for a demo and more information.

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."
Psalm 90:14


FlowerLady said...

Bless your heart Mrs. Mac and Nathans too. It sounds like your days are full, with never a dull moment. May you continue to feel God's love, peace and strength flowing through and surrounding you.


Sandy said...

Mrs. Mac, I think Nathan is so
precious. I fully understand
how trying some days could be.
But I also understand that your
son is the joy of your life!
How fortunate Nathan is to have
you for his mother. You and your
family are in my thoughts and
Sandy :0)

Felisol said...

Dear Mrs. Mac,
Nathan is a clever boy. He has words for the most important things to have what he need for body and soul, and even some comfort for his Mom; "be off blip."
As for the American four-letter language, I feel challenged myself.
Over and over again I find I have used words I learned in school, which now have been turned into language a Christian lady of 60 don't use.
Then again I think, how come all the others seem to be only to familiar with those doubled meaning words.

I hope eyes OK.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking it is no coincidence that he is attached to a garden tool. He was most fortunate to be born to a well-trained Mom - who we know from the last carnival was told of his birth in advance.

I really like getting to know Nathan better! Barbara

(Getting over not being the first commenter...)

Amrita said...

I amazing to see how Nathan communicates and you are so close and nurturing , you can interpret his words and sign language. God 's specail grace is upon . I am full of praise and admiration for you Cathy.

The header photo is classic.

Sara said...

you are a miracle mrs. mac; your family, your children, your wisdom and the voice you've given nathan. xo

K- floortime lite mama said...

I love it
So glad I found your blog thru Barb's blog Carnival
I especially love ICE that was a masterful interpretation

Stacey,momof 2 said...

Well, this post made me smile and laugh... I found you via the blog carnival...
I love the comment about the play station sign...ah, that "could of" but didn't happen at our house :)
Never a dull or boring moment with these special sweet kids from God. :)

Terri said...

We have had eye doctor adventures lately and I am finding that some of the staff understand my daughter pretty easily... and some, not so much. Glad our kids come with interpreters!

Bethany said...

How clever to relate ice and eyes based on how they sound! I had to laugh at the wrong sign for game because when I took a sign language for educators class it was made clear to us that it is easy to mistakenly sign inappropriate words - two words that are easy to mix up are the word "very" and the f-word. Needless to say, I never signed "very" to my students because I was afraid I would sign it the wrong way and they would choose that instant to imitate. I also love how Nathan has chosen his own unique security blanket. Most of all I love the dynamics of your relationship with him and the seamless way you can translate for him - both translating what he says for the world and translating the world for him when necessary.

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

Throughout this enjoyable post, I had a smile on my face reading it. Although the topic was expressions of childhood, you also included the expressions of motherhood and how our interactions/ expressions influence so much in our children's lives.

Pat said...

I think the saying "bloom where you are planted" applies to you in so many ways. You not only bloom, you shed that beauty, and your garden grows more lovely every day...Nathan looks like a sunflower to me!

Viktoria said...

After the comment you left on my blog I had to check Nathan out!Reading this post and looking at Nathan's picture my gut feeling tells me that this little boy does plenty of inkling what BS means :-)

Elizabeth Channel said...

So happy to have found your blog through Barbara's carnival! Your son is so blessed to have you as a mother. I could use a dose of your patience!

danette said...

Hi, I'm visiting from Barbara's blog carnival.

This is great! Poor guy with the "bee off" :(. My Little Bitty uses "off" a lot to, generally meaning the opposite (plug off means unplug the bathtub, tie it off means untie, etc.)

Jada's Gigi said...

You are such a good momma! What a hoot on the "game" sign!!! LOL

Maggie Ann said...

What a special family you are...=)