Someone asked me today why I think the words -- the sentences -- are coming easier for Oliver. And there is no doubt that it is getting easier for him. When Oliver becomes distressed during the course of any day I remind him that he can tell me what is wrong and then there it is: "I want a turn." "I feel hungry. I want to eat." "I want to go upstairs and get dressed." "I want to have that." "I want Sami to stop it." "I'm full. I don't want to eat that." "I want to put my bathing suit on and I need help."
I don't know, really, why everything seems to be coming together for my boy. But I do know that his receptive language has reached a point where there is no doubt that he understands almost every single thing that is said to him. I am sure of this because I have purposefully grown less careful in how I communicate. I am less explicit. For example, the other day we were collecting our milk from the farm, I had taken about a dozen steps from the milking shed with my arms full when I mentally noted that I forgotten to close the door behind me. "Oh, shoot!" I said. Then, pointing with my pursed lips in the direction of the door, I asked: "Oliver, could you get that for me?" Without missing a beat Oliver walked back to the building and closed the door. Then, later, Oliver closed his car door and started to buckle himself in without noticing that the door didn't latch all the way. From outside the car I said: "I don't think that did the trick!" In one fluid motion, Oliver looked up, saw what I was talking about and closed the door more securely. There are more examples, I'm sure (like telling him to skootch over when I wanted to sit, then having him do just that!) but these are the ones that come to mind.
Oliver is also -- unbelievably -- still sleeping through the night. We had a couple of rough weeks this summer when I wondered if our lucky streak had ended. But I think that had more to do with the copious amounts of pool water that Oliver was drinking every day! It took us some time to get that sorted out and soon we were back to sleeping all night every blessed night. It feels like we've won the lottery. Seriously.
I don't know what to think about all this wonderful language that we've been hearing. Obviously, Oliver is still greatly impaired when it comes to his ability to communicate. He still struggles. A lot. But hearing these words, these sentences, come forth has allowed a little blossom of hope to grow and I can almost imagine the day when we will have a conversation.