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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: "I love you mommy!"

Friday, July 11, 2014

"I love you mommy!"

These words are cherished by any parent.  These words are eagerly anticipated.  When you have a child with a speech delay, the eager anticipation eventually gives way to desperation, and maybe, (though hopefully not) apathy.

Ashlynn has been able to say "I love you" for awhile now.  Once she really got good at imitating, we had her imitate it every time we told her goodnight and tucked her into bed.  Now that she's older, she automatically says it after we say it in any situation, and we are happy.  We are very happy.

Today though, I heard these words spontaneously.  She said them in a moment of pure joy and blessed me with them.

First, a little back story.  I've been home for a month now on summer break with my kids. It's awesome and exhausting.

I am admittedly not an artistic person, and I really could live without the messes that art creates.  I'm a writer.  Writing is so clean.  A pen and paper is all you need to create beauty out of words, which then are easily put away until later.

Kids are not writers.  They do not yet appreciate the beauty within words, but they love a good mess.  A good mess and me are not on good terms.  However, kids and neatness are not on good terms either....so what is a mom to do?

Ashlynn begs to do messy things.  Play with play-doh and proceed to get it everywhere including in her hair, in her shoe, and ground into the carpet even though she's playing on the tile in the kitchen.

Let it go mama.

Play with water in the sink.  Except the water inevitably ends up in a huge puddle all over the (small) counter, the floor, her shirt, her pants, and possibly needing a change of underwear.

Let it go mama

Play with the dirt outside.  However, the dirt somehow happens to turn into mud that gets under her fingernails, in her shoes, on her shirt, and again ground into the carpet that is INSIDE my house even though she was playing outside.

Let it go mama.

And I really have been trying.  Messes make her happy.  The tactile input is helpful for her SPD (sensory processing disorder).  I've really, really been trying to just accept the mess.

Today I was at Target getting some odds and ends.  I'm not an impulse shopper.  I only buy necessities and if I do I usually have a coupon or it was on sale.  I saw the dollar bins and I decided to take a peek.  I'm also not a window shopper, so this is unusual as well, but you know, I've become more flexible this summer and I don't know what has gotten into me.

I ran across foam stickers and my memory instantly recalled paper after paper that came home in Ashlynn's backpack this year full of random papers that had some scribbles and foam stickers on them.  I would never buy foam stickers.  What a waste.  They serve no purpose.  You put them on paper and then throw the paper away.  What's the point?  Something in me though remembered all of those papers and thought Ashlynn really likes these things.  I stood there awhile debating.  They were only a dollar, but it seemed like such a waste!!  But I think, Ashlynn really likes creating with them and (and this is my internal argument that allowed me to buy them) they are good for bilateral hand coordination since you need both hands and fine motor control to get the paper off the back.

I bought them.  Good.  Ashlynn will practice fine motor skills.  I'm a good mama.

I brought them home and she was happy.  Not overly happy, but happy.  She was busily creating when she randomly walked over to me and tapped me on the leg.

"Mama, Mama, MAMA!!"

"What honey?"

"I love you!!"

I'm stunned.  What on Earth prompted this?  And that's when I looked a few feet beyond her to the messy table, backs of foam stickers littering my carpet, and paper after paper full of foam stickers.

I gave her the biggest hug.  I might have cried.

As it turns out, a good mess and me have gotten closer.

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