The title of this post might not seem like a big deal to hear from an almost 5 year old but for Giggles it’s pretty amazing. He said every word in the sentence and added extra information. He didn’t just say “big tree” like he would have said a year ago. He didn’t even just say “dat big tree ever” as he would have said only a few months ago. He said “Woah! Dat big tree every my seen”. Yes, his pronunciation and syntax aren’t normal. Yes, he doesn’t say biggEST but he still gets his point across (and even more amazingly anyone other than just me, Grumpy and Chatterbox would have also understood what he was trying to say).
~Not actual big tree!~
Why is this so amazing? Well, up until May 2011 when Giggles was 3 he only ever said “Mum”. The way he said it varied, and he added gestures and repetition to get his point across. For ages he called both Grumpy and me ‘Mum’ which was a bit confusing – eventually he worked out that I was ‘Mum’ and Grumpy was ‘Dad’ and thankfully Grumpy never got a complex about that! Mind you before this he was used to one of our nephews (and his Mum) calling him “Aunty Grumpy” so I guess “Mum” isn’t much different.
Then in May, 2011 Giggles got grommets inserted in both ears. From then his language has improved amazingly, proving that his language delay was due to being unable to hear properly from chronic ear infections that weren’t treated by his bio parents. About 6 months ago we noticed that Giggles wasn’t paying attention to noises he used to love – like the very rare planes and much more common helicopters that fly over our house. He seemed to need us to raise our voices before he would respond. We weren’t sure how much of this was due to him being a kid and ignoring us or if it was his hearing. We went to the GP who gave him antibiotics and advised us to wait a month to see what happened. Then came Christmas and the holidays so we waited longer before we went back. In this time my sisters both started to notice that his hearing didn’t seem quite right. This year we went to an Ear, nose and throat specialist who had a look and thought that it might resolve itself. When we went to a follow up appointment the ENT said that he would need grommets in both ears again. This will hopefully be happening in May (almost exactly 2 years after his first lot of grommets). I say hopefully as we have to get permission from the fostering department. This is a long and drawn out process as we foster through an agency so they have to contact the department to find out what they want before they will approve the operation. Our case worker got that information and asked us to contact the ENT and arrange a letter. When I called they couldn’t just write down the two things they needed they had to have it faxed to them from the agency or department! Red tape is so annoying and fostering involves more of it than I had realised.
His speech is going so well at the moment that we are looking forward to seeing the huge leaps he takes when he can hear properly again. I am, however, not looking forward to keeping his ears totally dry again! Grommets make it very hard for him to have swimming lessons, which are vital for him to have since we live in Australia! With the last lot we choose to just wait but I think this time we will have to see if we can get ear plugs to keep his ears dry as he is getting older and really needs to learn to swim.
I can’t wait for the day that Giggles can have a conversation with anyone he wants and they will understand every word he says. I hope that he can be at this stage by the time he starts school next year. Thankfully he has never gotten cranky or annoyed at people not understanding him. He is so laid back that he either works out another way to say it or goes and finds someone who does understand him.
I smile at so many of the sentences he comes out with these days but the one that makes me the most happy is “I love you Mum” ❤