Sunday, January 9, 2011

Breakthrough weekend: this is what's encouraging Max to talk

It started Saturday morning. The bathroom on our ground floor was on the verge of being condemned by the Department of Health, and since it's not a self-cleaning kind and Dave is not a self-cleaning husband, something needed to be done. "Mommy's going to vacuum the bathroom," I told Max. He flashed me a huge grin. Then he pointed to the vacuum and to the bathroom. It took me a second. "They rhyme!" I said. "Bathroom and vacuum!"

"EEE-YAH!" said Max. ("YEAH!")

A couple months ago, he'd recognized that my sister's name, Judy, rhymed with doodie (her childhood nickname) but we haven't heard rhyming since. For the next half hour, though, Max and I walked all around the house, him carrying a purple wand that he used to point to stuff and we made rhymes. Sometimes, he'd say the word and I'd add a rhyme; sometimes, he'd do it. Window and Play-doh! Floor and door! Brown and down! Truck and duck! Bus and us! Bed and red! It was totally amusing him and simultaneously cracking me up and amazing me. Most of the time, the words weren't intelligible, but he was trying so hard.

The speech therapist came over for her 11 a.m. appointment and was totally impressed. Phoneme awareness—recognizing the different units of sounds that distinguish words—is the root of reading and very key for speech. Sabrina went through this stage, too, about a year ago. Now it's Max's turn.

Max and I did the rhyming thing in car trips, too: Sky and hi! Blue and new! Tree and me! Snow and go! Snow and NO!

There's one basic truth I've learned about speech therapy or anything therapy: it works best for kids when it's fun. And rhyming is most definitely fun, if addictive.

"Dave!" I said as he heated up dinner tonight.

"What, hon?" he asked.

"Dave! Wave! Save! Rave! Brave! Enclave!" I said, gleefully.

Max totally cracked up.

This is all pretty awesome.


  1. Totally.awesome.


  2. This brings to mind.... No more rhymes I mean it! Anybody want a peanut?
    Great movie!

  3. LOVE. THIS! Awesome indeed. Go, Max!

  4. Go Max go!!!! :-) That is great that he is rhyming!

  5. GO MAX! My friend Jean would LOVE this post, because she writes rhyming poetry. :)


    (Okay, maybe I'm overdoing it LOL!)

  6. This post made me smile. They are so many more important things than a clean bathroom--at least that is what I keep telling myself.

  7. Wait till you get to the heart-fart-smart, soup-poop-scoop, and see-me-pee combos!!! Ha!

    Gee that's great news, though! I have learned that rhyming is most fun when the rhymer is bouncing maniacally on something they shouldn't be on, like the bed or the sofa...dunno why, but it just is more fun, apparently!

  8. I've been trying to rhyme with the girls but I am fairly certain that like other readers we will quickly go down the rhyming with bodily functions path, since one of Hannah's signs of toilet training readiness is that she watches others use the potty then waves and cheerfully says "Good-bye poo poo!"

  9. I'm guessing that Dr.Seuss books are very popular in your house. Way to go Max! :)

  10. YAAAAY! Had me in tears this morning!! Way to go Max (and Mom!)!!
    Thanks so much for the muchly needed injection of hope again.
    :) Rose

  11. It's days like that that make this parenting thing a little bit easier. Congrats Max!

  12. Hi Ellen! I read an article you wrote at, love your blog! You have a beautiful family, so happy to hear about Max's progress.

  13. Wow, Max is growing so fast and making such progress....kinda like his hair ;-)

  14. Wow, Max is growing so fast and making such progress....kinda like his hair ;-)

  15. He's a poet and he just doesn't know it! :=)

  16. Very cool news! Go Max.

  17. Dave is not a self cleaning husband. love that mine is not either


Thanks for sharing!

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