I've said it before, and it's worth repeating: Child development, especially when delays are involved, is a matter of small victories. Thanks to Dora, DeLaynie has learned quite a bit this summer. I think it may also have something to do with the therapy, but I attribute at least half of the credit to her animated teacher that lives in the box.
DeLaynie doesn't say Mama very much. The "m" sound is pretty difficult. She sometimes replaces it with the "b" sound or other, easier to say sounds. She was calling me Hannah for a while. Not adorable, but it's still progress. Last night when I came home from a consignment sale, she came to the door and greeted me with, "Mommy!"... twice! Not just repetitive "Mamamama," (she's done that before, on occasion,) but "Mommy". Very good. I've always tried to console myself with the thought that maybe she doesn't say Mama as much because I'm always here. She mostly says "Daddy" when he's coming in the door. Maybe my theory wasn't purely fiction after all.
Today we were playing with play-dough while she listened to one of her therapy cd's. First of all, it was the homemade kind that had to be refrigerated, so it was very cold. One of De's quirks is that she doesn't like to touch cold things. She jumped right in there, though. She was smashing her hands into it and giggling at the imprint, rolling it in her hands, all the normal things a two year-old should do with play-dough.
Which brings me to the next mini-milestone. She rolled it into a snake-like shape, but it was a little thicker in the middle. The play-dough was yellow, and she looked at it and looked up at me with an excited twinkle in her eyes and yelled, "nana!" It took me a second, but I realized that she was saying banana. Sure enough, it looked like a banana. Then she did something really new. She tried to eat it. That's a lot of connections for her to make. It was yellow play-dough that she crudely molded into a banana shape, on purpose or not, I do not know, and then she recognized that the banana is something that you eat. Not to mention that she generally only eats things that are deep-fried or crispy. After last night, when she ate a gooey grilled cheese sandwich, this is quite a twenty-four hour revolution!
I would like to thank Boots the Monkey for making the banana revolution possible. Without his constant consumption of the delicious fruit and his enthusiasm for its presence, no banana related achievements would have taken place. Dora, thank you for your excellent casting in the role of "goofy sidekick," as well as using the word "Mommy" in several episodes. Your bi-lingual influence has helped DeLaynie to reach new heights. I also want to thank the dudes who invented the cd and dvd. Without the crystal-clear high frequencies of the therapy cd's, DeLaynie's oddly structured inner-ear muscles may not have gotten into shape as they have. And without the dvd we could not have taken our dear friends Dora and Boots with us, greatly reducing the amount of time we could learn from them or enjoy that wonderful theme song over and over (...and over and over) again.