It's fun watching the boys' personalities emerge as they get more and more language. AJ is quite the little comedian.
There's a dalmatian on the side of the new Fire Station tent we got this week -- just scroll down to the post below this one for pictures -- and when I asked AJ what it was, he said "a cow." And his therapist and I laughed so much, that now he'll walk up to it randomly throughout the day and he'll make sure I'm looking, and then point at it and say "a cow" and giggle.
He also repeats a lot of what he has been hearing from Dora the Explorer for years. I always thought one of their first words was going to be "Dora," and I wasn't far off.
Dora episodes are all about repetition -- something little Fragile X and autistic kids often love. The Map always starts out by saying "I'm the Map" and singing a whole big "I'm the Map" song. So AJ will say "hi, I'm the Map" randomly throughout the day. He's mostly just talking to himself but it's so cute.
One day last week he started patting himself on the chest and telling people "Hi, I'm Dora." And we'd laugh of course, so he takes several opportunities throughout the day to regale us with his humor. He won't say it for just anyone. There was a lead therapist here yesterday he doesn't know well, and AJ barely tolerated his presence. He prefers an audience he's familiar with. Maybe he wants to be sure he'll get laughs. Not bad for a starting performer.
Zack is a little tougher to get to know. His words have come slower, with more space in between them. I still look at Zack and wonder about the little boy who seems to be locked up inside him most of the time. But occasionally, when we aren't paying attention, he'll let a little personality trickle out.
The other day we were watching Diego (whom we love nearly as much as Dora). Zack was laying on the floor on some pillows, being still and watching quietly, and I was taking advantage of the opportunity to lose myself in a book for a bit. In this episode, Linda the Llama was carrying a bunch of books to the library when a big wind scattered them throughout a field. "Oh no," Zack said softly. He's almost 6. I've never heard him say "oh no" before.
You have to understand that while he has a lot of words in his vocabulary, he is best at repeating things you tell him to say, or answering questions appropriately. He almost never comes out with a comment without prompting. It was momentus. I stared at him in awe. And he was so into the show, he wasn't even aware he'd done something amazing.
It's so awesome to get these glimpses into their little souls.