Monday, September 19, 2011

don't sing please

Eric and I are both very sing song-y people. We'll sing in the house and we sing in the car. We will even answer each other in song. We beat box rhythms together (he being a drummer is naturally gifted with beat box). It's kind of discusting...we can't help it.

As speech comes in, first a child will name things. Nouns. Ball, swing, toy, car, etc. For us, the next step was to teach Calder how to ask for what he needed. Usually you begin to pair two words together: Want food, more milk, juice please, Mama help, then onto three word sentances etc... We decided it was important to give Calder words that he could use instead of just freaking out. Freaking out was one way to communicate, but a way no one really likes. Calder didn't begin to speak until around 3 years old. As an "older" kid learning to speak, he had already had quite a lot of anxieties and fears that would manifest through freaking out. He needed some words.

One phrase we decided to teach him was "don't talk please". "Don't talk" being the language we chose to help him, and "please" so that maybe it would sound nice....He learned this very fast and soon was using it for everything: He used it to mean "don't talk", but also to mean, "I don't like that ", "stop", "I don't like your answer", "I do it", "go away", "no".... He was basically using "don't talk" for any high stress situation. Sometimes when he said "don't talk" it was awkward and made no sense.

"Calder, do you want milk or juice?"..........."dont talk"
"lets go to the store with Mama"................."don't talk"
"Calder, where's my eyes?"........................"don't talk"

Then "don't talk", expanded to "don't sing". He would say "don't sing" for everything he did'nt want us to do. We spent a long time getting him to use "don't sing" appropriately. Now at 5 years old, he's got it down and says "don't sing" whenever Eric or I hum a tune or sing along with a song. You would think we'de know by now. We always forget and he always reminds us. "Don't sing". "Don't hum, Dada". Its a funny thing to teach your kid to differentiate "hum" from "sing", just so that he can tell you not to "hum" when you're humming. Well, at least he is not freaking out.

Our therapist thinks he's got perfect pitch and it is pitch he is sensitive in "Mom and Dad suck at singing". But really, we're not that bad. We can sing in tune. I look forward to the day when he can tell us why he does not like us singing. I have my theories. Don't get me wrong, HE likes to sing....sings all the time. I can sing directions to him or sing questions, just not songs...unless it's snuggle time in bed at night. That is the one SURE time of day I get to sing with him.

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