Thursday, January 8, 2009

Parenthood Lesson #4


Sure they were there supporting you through your pregnancy, helping to pick out baby furniture and cooking you dinner when you had strange cravings. They went to doctor's appointments and were at the hospital when you were in labor for 24 hours. But once the baby comes, they switch allegiance and you are left on your own. The worst part is they will never truly admit it. They PRETEND that they're STILL on your side, and when you call to rant and rave about the baby, or when they visit and you have to reprimand the baby for something, you THINK they're going to agree with you but in the end you're caught off guard by their double-crossing response! They give your kids ice cream when you tell them they have to have fruit. You tell them to buy the $14.99 Elmo, and they buy the $49.99 one instead. You tell them the baby can feed herself and they nod and smile and then soon as you leave, there they are feeding her. You say the kid is in a bad mood and they ask, "well what did YOU do to her???" And there you are, left wondering if these are the same people that raised you. I don't get it.

Happy New Year From Amina!

Amina is growing by leaps and bounds and her father and I marvel at her accomplishments everyday. She's running around the house, getting into things she has no business bothering, ignoring me when I say "no, no!" and making a new mess of things I just cleaned up - a true toddler in every sense of the word. She's starting to talk in her little husky voice and her arsenal of words now includes: "Akbar", Amina (which she loves to say and repeats all day long and will EVEN annunciate it for you "Aaaaaaa - Meeeen - Aaaaaa") mama, dada, pop-pop, mom-mom, Sweets (our cat), eat-eat, night-night, hi, bye-bye, uncle, cookie and people. We have also been trying to teach her sign language, and she knows the signs for "milk" "more" and "all done" and if you think HEARING baby talk is cute, its nothing compared to those tiny hands and fingers making words to communicate with you. Its almost the most precious thing I've ever seen.

Amina's recent language development has been very interesting, as it highlights one of the central characteristics of Williams which is often advanced language development and vocabulary. This may be why she finds it easy to repeat the word "Sweets" but won't say cat "Wesley" but won't say doggie "Uncle" but won't say aunt and "juice" but won't say cup. I guess that would also explain why "Akbar" was her first word. The down side to this (of course there always has to be at least one) is that although many kids with WS have these advanced vocabularies, like their other developmental milestones, they often delayed in speech, and cognitively they may take longer to fully understand the complex words that are easy for them to pick up. She can repeat just about every word we say, so we have started to really watch our mouths around here and pray that if a bad word does slip out, its "shit" and not "m' f'er" which she will most assuredly be able to repeat :)

(If you happen to have some spare time and find yourself fascinated by Williams and language development, click here for an interesting article I found by Mervis and Becerra on Language and Communicative Development in Williams Syndrome.)

So, overall I am looking forward to a great 2009, with Amina reaching many more milestones and continuing to grow into the lovely little girl that she has truly become. Since Amina is too young to make up her own New Year's resolutions, I thought up a few for her:

1 - I will start referring to my father as Dad and not Ameen
2 - I will listen when my mother tells me "no"
3 - I will not pull OR step on the cat's tail
4 - I will sleep in my own bed EVERY NIGHT
5 - I will start eating vegetables and not just chicken everyday

I'll keep you posted on how they work out!