Much of the time, I laugh at the troubles that my friends who are parents of only NT children, at least insofar as their children are concerned.
As I constantly remind folks, R is nearly four years younger than the Monster. We spent a long time debating the probabilities before having a second child… and thus far, we seem to have beaten the odds.
Whereas getting the Monster to communicate is sometimes a struggle, R is a very verbal, very astute child. He’s learned quickly how to ask for things – including sometimes aping his big brother’s verbal style – and already is at the point of bargaining to try to put off his bedtime by asking for things. (“Book!” “Teeth!” “Sing!” “Kiss!” “Book!”)
So, there are days like today where I’m at home with him due to the wife needing to be elsewhere (and my magnificently flexible job permitting it). This morning, while I was working on the laptop, he ran out of the room, and I could hear him going up through the living room into the kitchen… mostly because I hadn’t realized the gates weren’t closed.
“Mana!” I heard suddenly from the kitchen. Moving up into there, he had walked around into the kitchen and meandered along the counters, until he spotted the solitary banana that was sitting on top of the toaster. “MAna!” he insisted, when I came over.
“Have you had a banana today?” I asked him – I genuinely didn’t know, since I’d given him a waffle this AM, and I think the wife had given him a poptart. He’s only allowed one banana a day for obvious reasons.
“Yes!” Well, that was useful. It was a stupid question on my part – he’s either going to say “yes” or respond with repeating the last word you said most of the time. “Hungry. Mana. YES.”
“Do you want the banana?”
I couldn’t ask him reliably if he’s had one, and I couldn’t remember if I saw more than one banana this morning… so I bit the bullet. “Alright, you can have a banana.” I gave him about half – a good way to hedge in case he’s already had one – and handed it to him.
“Than-Q!” And off he ran, going down the stairs to go back to watch Chica on Sprout.
The other side of the “verbal” part is that he does directly ask for what he wants. Even at five, the Monster’s inclined to ask for “Sesame” or “TV” if he wants to watch something, even if it’s not Sesame. R is more inclined to give you an answer between multiple shows if you offer him the option. (I like being able to ask that.) It’s something I’m clearly not used to.
Now if he would just get to the point of telling me that he needs a change…