Monday, May 4, 2009

Max has a few words for you

It's Sunday evening, and we're all hanging out in the kitchen. Max is sitting on the floor pushing a toy bus back and forth that keeps playing "The Wheels On The Bus." Note to self: hide bus. Dave and Sabrina are at the table, reading flash cards with Spanish words.

"Avion," Dave says. "Airplane."

Sabrina repeats after him, "Avion."

"And what does a 'plato' say?" he asks.

"Quack! Quack! Quack!" she replies.

It is exciting to hear. I start thinking that I wish Max could join in, too. But he needs to focus all his energy on picking up English words, so we don't dare mix in another language.

"What color is this?" Dave asks.

"Azul!" says Sabrina.

Sabrina's ability to talk still astounds us both. It is miraculous to us that she picked it up on her own, without any therapy or coaxing or prayers. Even when she says things like "You are a bad lady!" or "You are a bad man!" to us when we tell her she has to go to sleep.

Now they are counting together: "Uno, dos, tres, quattro...."

Max continues to play with his bus, oblivious and happy.

"Dave, show him the duck card," I say.

Max looks and says "Quack! Quack!"

"Dave, show him the airplane card!"

"Air-plane!" Max says.

"Dave, show him the truck card!"

"Wruck!" says Max.

Dave shows him the cow card; he says "cow!" and then "moooooo."

"Max, are you ready to go to sleep?"

"Nooooooooooo," he says.

Senor Max may not habla espanol, but his English is coming along. And that is miraculous to us, too.


  1. Precious, beautiful boy! Here's hoping a few words turn into a flood! It can happen when you least expect it, too!

  2. Thanks for bringing me a smile on a Monday morning! Max, you are so awesome.

  3. What a great post to read on a gloomy, rainy morning!

  4. My cousin's wife has a rule: no toys that make noise without an off switch. I always liked the rule myself. Now I really like it after working in childcare.

  5. Just shows you how smart the little guy is despite the fact he can't always tell you!!!

  6. Great post! Love to read that Max is saying so many words.

    For any toy that has noise, we usually put scotch tape over the "speaker". The kids can still hear it but it's not so irritating to all adults in a 10 mile radius that way.

  7. Ellen,
    This post is so beautiful. It really resonates with me. As I read about Max responding to you as you held up the cards I found myself unable to stop smiling. How exciting! Those moments, while they might seem small to others are HUGE accomplishments that prove your (and Max's) hard work is paying off. When those moments happen in the classroom I feel like my heart will explode from the thrill!

    At the same time, what you wrote about Sabrina and your amazement at her speaking abilities is a thought that often crosses my mind as well. I have a wonderful 19-month old nephew. As he acquires new skills I find myself reflecting on how miraculous it is that he is picking them up without prompting.

    As you said - whatever way children gain their skills it is beautiful to watch. Max is an awesome kid. I love his determination! Thank you for writing such a great post!

  8. So fun and it made me smile!

  9. cool do u are u husband speak spainsh or do u live in CA

  10. This post made me happy to reread!

    AZ, no, not in CA, sorry. And we don't speak a whole lot of Spanish, but we think it's good to teach it to Sabrina when she's young.

    Caryanne: I LOVE your suggestion for making toys less loud.

    Sarah: I wish I'd thought about the "off" switch rule before I got half of the kids' toys!

  11. Love to hear that Max's vocab is expanding! That is such great and exciting news!

  12. Ellen, I loved this post. Max is so adorable and awesome. Did I mention that I loved this post?

    Thanks for sharing your life as it gives me hope for Elijah's future. To think I could have a similar exchange with Elijah in the future is absolutely thrilling. And also, thanks for reminding me(with your comment on Elijahland) that I can't take anything for granted, especially jumping! And, for giving me hope that his allergies might possibly be a thing of the the future. Thanks Ellen, you rock. :)

  13. What a great post!

    The teacher in me says show the cards to Max too and just don't ask him to do the talking. After all, his brain may process more than his body can communicate.

  14. Well, that made me cry. Evan will respond to cards but he is still doing mainly vowel sounds. He does say Moo, Ought Oh, and some thing that sounds like na & ya. This is so awesome. Way to go MAX!!

  15. That's wonderful! and I love this picture of him too - he looks so proud!


Thanks for sharing!

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