Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Because

I’m continuously just so blown away by the things Samantha is learning and coming up with. I think most of them have to do with her “typical” school and the learned behaviors she’s developing from her interactions with her typically-developing peers.

We have long worked on who, what, where, when, why questions with Samantha. She answers some of them with infrequent consistency, and some of them not at all. The most commonly answered ones are who and where, with what following closely behind. We’ve recently introduced why more regularly, knowing that it will really make her think to answer. Her stock response had either been to parrot the word “why” back to us, knowing that she didn’t quite understand what we were looking for, or to answer in an incomplete sentence (“Samantha, why do you want a wet wipe?” “Baby bath.” Or, “Samantha, why did Pinkalicious turn pink?” “Cupcakes!”). But in the last few weeks, her stock answer has changed to a much more mature one-word response. Because. And she doesn’t say it like a statement, as in, “Samantha, why did you put baby in time out?” “Because.” She says it like she’s thinking, and thinking hard. More like, “Samantha, why did you…(whatever)?” “Because…because…" She definitely likes the sound of the word. She says it with a grin, like she’s just tasted something delicious that she knows she isn’t supposed to have.  Or like the cat that caught the canary.

This morning she took her full and correct sentence building to the next level. As she “read” Goldilocks and the Three Bears while sitting on the potty (complete with super-whiny baby bear voice upon finding that his porridge had been eaten, his chair had been broken and there was some crazy blond chick in his bed), she said, “Daddy bear mad. Baby bear sad. Mamma bear angry.” I seized the opportunity to test her. “Samantha, why was Baby bear sad?” “Because…because…chair is broken!” Ahhhh, such a sweet sound, so lovely, so musical, so…right. Because. How do you explain a concept like because to a child? There is no concept – it’s just…because.

Steve is the lucky one (no, really!) who gets to drive Samantha to her “typical” school twice a week. He gets to see how she’s received into the classroom, hear the other children greet her, watch how she reacts. And I thrive on these reports. I watch my clock from my desk at work, waiting for the moment when I think he’ll have dropped her off and will call me to tell me the latest, greatest story. And to most people, these reports consist of something terribly mundane and innocuous. But to me, they’re reports containing the keys and practice runs for Sammi’s future. No pressure, right? Time and time again, I hear of the other children flocking to her, Samantha taking their hands and walking into the play areas. Steve said he’s struck by how appropriate it all seems, how appropriate she is with her peers, doing the same things as them, being embraced by them. I asked him this morning if he ever got the sense that parents may not want her to play with their children – you know, the old stereotypes, the old fears of the unknown. But he said the parents he’s met all adore Samantha, encouraging the interactions with their own children, treating her like any other.

Twice a week I wait for these reports, and while they’re always the same, I still want to hear them. Just…because.

10 comments:

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

I love to see how people greet and respond to my kiddos...I am so pleased to hear that Sammie has a GREAT environment...way to go! smiles

Sally Carter said...

Awww - tears in my eyes over this one Rebecca. So cute! Isn't progress an amazing thing?!

Rochelle said...

Awesome!

Kacey Bode said...

That is so awesome!!! That was not only answering your question but totally comprehending her story, that's a great literacy step!!! We too have been working on the W questions!!

Cathy said...

Awesome post, Rebecca. Oh yes...and awesome girl.

Lacey said...

I was just talking about how our little DS kids are going to really change the way people look at DS. There are high functioning DS people now, but our little ones are doing so much, I can't wait to see what they do when they are all grown up!

Jenny said...

I loved reading this :)

Jen Currier said...

Becca- I'm so glad you came across my blog! Thanks for visiting and commenting. Your daughter is absolutely gorgeous and your reports of how she's doing and what she's saying brought tears of joy to my eyes. I'm enjoying the right now with my baby boy, but I can't help the thoughts that creep in about what he'll be like...what he'll learn...what he'll be able to say... It's impossible to keep those thoughts away. It's so good to "meet" you!

Lochhead Family said...

I love this, Rebecca. Such a smart, personable little girl you have there! :)

heather said...

I never realized with my other children how difficult this concept (of answering who, what, where, why questions) was until Morgan. She has just started doing the "because" response and I love it because it is so typical. Way to go on understanding the 3 Bears and being able to verbalize it so well. Worthy of a huge celebration!