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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: "Oh my goodness!!" Ashlynn turns 5!

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Oh my goodness!!" Ashlynn turns 5!

The day started long before the AM. Preparations were in place to decorate the house after Ashlynn went to bed.

This year was different though.  When I left to leave while Cody was putting her to bed, she asked me where I was going.

"Mama?  Where you going?"

Though I tried my best to cover, she asked,

"You going for my birthday?"

Freeze time.

My daughter has ALWAYS been astute and observant, but we usually could play it off and nothing more was said.

SAID.

That's the thing.  Nothing more was said, but Ashlynn has been watching all these years.  I think, wait, I KNOW she knew what was going on.

We celebrated her birthday this morning.  My son has been getting up at 3 AM every morning for the past two weeks, so I was sleeping in a chair in his room when I heard noise outside.  I walked out and saw Ashlynn gasping for breath.  No, she wasn't in trouble, she saw the balloons in the hallway!

She's seen these before, but today, she could EXPRESS that she really SAW them.  I had my phone on me and starting rolling the film.


Me: Ashlynn, what do you see?

Ashlynn: Oh...my....GOODness. (dancing through balloons looking at her decorations)

Ashynn: Whose presents are these?

Me: Those are YOUR presents!!

Ashlynn: Who give them to me?

Me: Mommy and Daddy!

Ashlynn: Yeah?  Look!  It's my jerjay Jace (dang assimilation...if you're an SLP, you would find this fascinating, especially since she can say "birthday"

Jace: It's your birthday today?

Ashlynn; Yes, it is!

Me: How old are you Ashlynn?

Ashlynn showing ten fingers: This many!!!

Me: Say, "I'm five!"

Ashlynn in excited fashion: "I'm five!!!

A little later on,

Ashlynn: Mama, where's my cake?

The last two years I made her a cake, but this year I decided to buy her a pretty Minnie ice cream cake that we hadn't picked up yet.  I was surprised she asked where it was.

Take that apraxia!

As the morning rolled on, I was folding clothes when my husband came into the room, eyes red. Emotional. But before I explain why, it's important to know the back story.

A couple weeks ago we were discussing what to get Ashlynn for her birthday.  My husband always has it in his head to get our kids a BIG gift.  He remembers the BIG gifts from his childhood...and some he even remembers what age he was when he received them.

I don't remember my big gifts.  I remember gifts, usually practical.  I love gifts, but for example, on my list for Ashlynn's gifts I had: long sleeve shirts, winter coat, robe, socks....(follow Cody's "really?!?" face).

Ashlynn just isn't into BIG gifts.  For some reason, she loves cards.  Any cards.  Trading cards, flash cards, alphabet cards, playing cards....cards.

I told Cody, if he wanted to get her a BIG gift, he should get her cards.  Buy her a binder she could decorate and put in pocket protectors.  He did...begrudgingly.  But it's true. It's what she wants.  We took her to the toy store THREE times, and she just wasn't crazy about anything.

Okay, so back to his red eyed confession.

Cody: Ashlynn just said "thank you daddy" unprompted.

Me: Really?  For what?

Cody: Buying her cards. She's never said thank you unprompted before.

Take that apraxia!!

As the guests arrived, her Grandma and  Grandpa  were two of the first people in the door.  She excitedly ushered her grandpa to her swing where she got him to push her.  I remember a time my dad came to visit and she wasn't really talking.  She said 'hi' but that was about it.  He left that day and told my mom he wasn't sure Ashlynn knew he was.  You can read about that story here.

The thing is, Ashlynn always knew who he was.  She knew he's the guy who plays ball and boats with her. She knew, but because she couldn't say, he left feeling the way he did.

All those are distant memories now.  She asked him "you push me on the swing?"  and they were gone.

As she was opening gifts, she was telling everyone "thank you" in a big loud voice.  She opened up a box that had a hoodie in it that she saw in the store shopping with me and told me it was pretty.  This was her face opening it up.  I think she liked it ;)



Another shirt she opened had the word Princess written on it.  I asked her who calls her princess.  As she looked up and scanned the crowd, her eyes stopped on her other grandpa that was there. She smiled and pointed at him, saying his name.  He later reported what a cool moment that was.  Verbal confirmation that Ashlynn has always known all along just what has been going on.

This year, singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles all came easy.  That milestone was met last year.  

The best came at bedtime.  I read her a bedtime story, prayed, and then kissed her goodnight.  She was holding the card book Cody gave her.  She told me, "Mommy!  These are my decorations."  (She was pointing out her room decorations that have been on her wall since basically she was born).  Yes, honey, those are you room decorations. "Yep, just like my decorations for my birthday."  

She is starting to retain, recall, and generalize higher vocabulary.  I smiled.  Then she pointed to her card book.  

Ashlynn: Daddy gave this to me

Me: Yes, he did

Ashlynn: That was nice of him.  You get him so I say thank you?

Me: You bet Ashlynn.

And that's how we are kicking apraxia's butt!

Happy 5th Birthday Ashlynn!  May you continue to find your voice and voice your thoughts, hopes, and dreams.

Love,
Mommy







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