Tuesday, February 06, 2007

When Enough is Enough

Our little guy, Sam, talks as much as Oliver doesn't. His his physical size bears no relationship to the largeness of his verbal presence. Oliver's speech developed to a point, then stopped, then receeded altogether, so I missed out on what a pleasure it can be to watch how a child discovers the world through language. I am in awe of how Sam learns through the environment and then expresses it through words. I marvel at it. It is my guilty pleasure.

Oliver, however, doesn't share my pleasure in Sam's very vocal presence. In fact, Sam's incessant chatter really gets on his nerves. I understand that too, because Oliver and I are alike in the fact that we both like it quiet. Too much noise can be disturbing. Upsetting. Agitating. Especially first thing in the morning. So even though I love the blossoming dialogs that Sam and I are having, some mornings I wish for a mute button. Oliver expresses his displeasure by either leaving the room or by pushing Sam out of the room.

This morning I was helping Oliver with his breakfast and Sam, having finished his while narrating the whole sequence step-by-step, had wandered into the next room still talking. At not quite two, Sam is already pretty skilled with words but he hasn't yet mastered the fine art of conversation. So even through he was now in another room he was still talking to me; still expecting a reply. Tired of yelling between the two rooms I got up from where I was kneeling beside Oliver and moving towards the playroom I said "Sam!" in my most exasperated voice. Following immediately I heard, "Shut Up!" -- not from my mouth but certainly echoing what I was thinking.

Turning in surprise, I saw Oliver smiling quitely into his morning oatmeal.

9 comments:

  1. I think that's what's referred to in the literature as "good self-advocacy skills". :-)

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  2. That's funny! Pretty good that Oliver spontaneously was able to voice what you and he were thinking too. Maybe he can read your mind. who knows, I don't underestimate anything anymore.

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  3. Hehe! Go Oliver! :-p

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  4. Silence is golden---and words too!

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  5. Too funny! That is fantastic! So appropriate and spontaneous:) Go Oliver!!

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  6. I do know exactly what you mean -- our Sam also has a huge vocal presence in contrast to his brother. J hasn't said any words yet, but if looks could shut someone up, he's been known to do so at many a meal. How funny that Oliver piped up just as you were about to. Good to see you back blogging.

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  7. I think you may find (as I have) that the irritating little brother can push our ASD older kids to new extremes (both good and bad).

    Someday Oliver will say "Sam, please go back downstairs" like Henry does to Tommy!!

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  8. yay! what a RIOT! i love that! clear communication, all right!

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  9. We've got a talkative, pushy little brother in our house too! I agree with Gretchen's comment - early on we wondered how we'd keep the little guy safe from his brother, but now they can play with the same toys, share a video game, and even lie next to each other watching a movie.

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