Before I left for the conference, I had a mountain of shit to take care of that included such important things as:
Make Hair Not Look Like Joan Jett/Mullet
Secure Total World Domination.
That meant that such other, minor things like, Teach Amelia To Speak and Make Appointment for Alex to Have Tongue Tie Surgery went into a folder in my inbox marked TAKE CARE OF THIS SHIT NOW.
Of course, it’s Thursday and I haven’t really touched any of that stuff, so making that folder was really just a front to make me FEEL as though I was accomplishing things when, in fact, I wasn’t. That’s precisely why I don’t make lists, actually.
My kid, however, loves them:
The only thing in my Folder of Shit I Need To Take Care of that I’ve managed to actually start on is Amelia’s speech. Bolstered by a number of you, who have sworn up and down that Baby Sign Language, I’ve started down that road.
Back in Junior High, we had to take a class that was called some acronym like HELP or DARE or SUCKS or something, that was clearly not very useful because I cannot remember it. But in that class, we had to, for a week or something, have a disability. I assume this was to make us more compassionate people, but I also think that the people who designed this should have probably realized that Junior High Kids are asswads and picked another age group to minister this lesson upon.
Anyway, I’d been (for whatever reason), hoping for Deaf, because I thought learning the sign language alphabet was cool.
So I was given the task of being Blind. Which, hi, I peeked when I had to pretend to spend the day in a blindfold like an asshole. I’m thankful I didn’t have to carry around a Bag of Flour Baby or pretend to be a mime because mime’s are scarier than anything else.
I then learned the ASL alphabet anyway to spite the stupid program who made me Blind when I wanted to be Deaf and still remember it to this day (I can also, I should add, recite the Preamble to the Constitution, which I had to memorize in 5th grade)(but what’s my middle name? I DON’T KNOW).
So far, I’ve learned the words for “poop,” “drink,” “star,” “ball,” and “syrup.” I’ve also ordered a couple of those “Signing Time” DVD’s that ALL of my Pranksters swear by.
I’d been hoping that being proactive with the Helping Amelia Learn To Speak Project (and hopefully not regress further, which, let’s face it, she can’t go back much further) would make me feel better. Despite my whole “I don’t plan things” I am a do-er.
Normally taking care of business makes me feel all accomplished, like I should pin a jaunty medal on myself that says, “I TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS, PEOPLE!”
(note to self: Make That Medal and Wear It Often so that I feel more self-important than normal.)
This time, however, it’s just not helping me feel better about my daughter.
It’s odd, because I’ve had a mute kid. I have an autistic older son and he didn’t speak for years and I never worried about it. Now, of course, he never shuts up, proving that “talking paint off walls” is a genetic trait.
But with Amelia, who was born with her brain hanging merrily out of her head, knowing that her speech is regressing leaves me with this nebulous worry that I cannot quite put my finger on. It seems more serious this time, like it could be something real, in a space where I previously figured–and was correct–that Ben would just do things on his own timetable.
So while I am teaching the other people in my house the signs for various and sundry things in an effort to feel like we’re not just shrugging our shoulders and letting the Amelia Speaks project flounder, I am filled with a sadness I just can’t place.
Maybe there’s a sign for that.
Although, I’m pretty sure that Amelia is saying…