Happy New Year

Every year we throw a small NYE party that I like to call “Feral Child New Year’s Eve.” Basically, we let the kids run around the basement and watch movies while the adults have grown up time upstairs. It’s always a fun time and each year the kids stay up later and later. This was the first year without any injuries to any of the children! Woo-hoo! (I’m kidding people, stop dialing CPS.)

This year people brought over their musical instruments and just about everyone took turns playing or singing to the best (or worst, sorry Jimmy) of their abilities.

Here’s a little video of the night, though there’s a lot of people missing as I only started taking pictures after midnight; was having a bit too much fun earlier. What better way to ring in the New Year, than to be with friends and make our own music?

Speech Therapy

The boy has always had amazing language skills.  I remember when we’d go to his well child visits and would receive a sheet of paper with his expected language milestones, all of which he had achieved months prior.  I thought, rather uncharitably, that the milestones were for the dumb kids.

Things were a bit different with the girl.  We’d go to the same well child visits, look at the sheets, and she’d have maybe one or two of them achieved, and just barely at that.  I know you’re not supposed to compare children, but it’s sort of hard not to.

Denver has a city program for early evaluation and intervention for any delay, and I figured it couldn’t hurt to have the girl evaluated.  We sat on the ground with a bunch of toys, books, and puzzles, and two delightful women engaged the girl in a series of tasks.  During each one, the women would nod vigorously and beam at the girl, who was at her charming best.  At the end of it, they looked at me and said, “She’s not behind at all! She’s actually about 15% ahead of her age.”

Um..okay…I’ll just…walk away now…I’m not an overacheiving parent…no…not at all…

The funny thing is, I just went to find a video of the boy speaking at her age and you know what I found? They use exactly the same number of words.  The only difference is that the boy’s speech was much clearer.

The therapists did note this, especially that the girl tends to skip letters and drop the end off of words.   They encouraged me to enunciate and repeat sounds back to the girl to improve her pronunciation.  For example, if I show her a picture of a dog, and she says, “Daw!” I’m supposed to say, “Right! Dog! Do-Guh-Guh-Guh,” emphasizing the “g” sound.

I went over this at dinner that night, and the boy listened to every word.

This morning at breakfast, Eric asked the boy what music he wanted to listen to.

“Wilco!” he replied.

“Wacko!” parroted the girl.

The boy turned to his sister, “Wuh-Wuh-Wuh-il-il-il-ko-ko-ko.”

“Wacko!” said the girl.

He kept repeating the appropriate diction of “Wilco” until she more or less got it right. “Wuhlco!” she finally blurted out.

With such a talented speech therapist in the house, I’m sure she’ll be speaking clearly in no time!

Singin’ in the Car

The girl does the most adorable thing these days when you drive with her.

No matter what’s on the radio (usually some depressing tale of suffering, anguish, or political misconduct on NPR) she will sing at the top of her lungs whilst slapping her knees and waving her little head back and forth like an Indian raga singer. Her hands reach up as high as they can go before coming down onto her knees one at a time, and she only pauses if she sees a dog, bird or train and has to show you the sign for it.

She’s very tuned into music (pun NOT intended, but there nonetheless) even more so than her brother was.  Some of her favorites are Wilco, the Flaming Lips, Old 97’s and more recently even Garth Brooks.  The boy got a mix CD from a friend of his for his birthday of all of his favorite songs.  It’s mostly a Country mix, and it includes some good stuff like Johnny Cash, but we’ve also had to sit through countless repetitions of “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”  I kid you not. Really, though you put any music on and she starts dancing and swirling around, utterly delighted.

I know some of you have seen the dancing video before, but it’s too cute not to repost here.



Here’s one where she’s singing and doing her little head bobble. It’s a bit older, so she “sings” more nowadays, but you get the picture. Yes, she’s sitting in a tupperware and yes, the boy is “playing” a helicopter.