Sunday, October 25, 2009

This has been a big month in Elaine's little world. She started preschool, gymnastics, and a music class like the one she used to take in Seattle. Until I signed her up for all of those, I hadn't realized that she was basically starting school. Four days a week, she has somewhere that she has to be before noon, and, apparently, four out of seven days is critical mass for utterly shifting Elaine's sleep schedule. I don't think I've seen this much of this many mornings since I was in high school.

Elaine's language development has become fairly interesting too. She no longer picks a pronunciation (such as "doot" = milk) and sticks with it, requiring us to learn her code language. Now, she'll switch her pronunciation of tricky words around, trying to get them closer to standard English. This makes her overall easier to understand -- but it was confusing when "doot," which has been constant for about a year, suddenly became "nut" (with an umlaut over the 'u'). Elaine also uses complete sentences; though, her pronouns tend to be backwards. ("She wants more," being her way of asking for more.)

With all of this progress in communication, I've noticed that Elaine now feels different in my memories of recent events. For instance, if I remember that I watched a movie last weekend, and I try to remember who all was there, I might think, "I know there were three of us -- but, I don't think Mom or Molly was visiting... So, that would be me, Daniel... and... Elaine?" See, I'm used to discounting Elaine when counting people, because, until very recently, she hasn't actually contributed to events and conversations like a full person would. Now, in her broken way, she does. It's eerie. A little like the moment in "The Cat From Outer Space," when Jake the cat first speaks to Dr. Frank Wilson.

Now if we can just teach the other Floor People to talk...

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