I wish you could hear Oliver talk. I wish you could hear the way he manages to get it all out, but slowly and only with me asking him and then repeating each and every word as he says it. It is laborious. A process every time.
"Oliver," I say as he hands me his plate with half a sandwich still remaining, "is there something you want to say?"
"I. don't. want. to. eat. that. I'm. finished."
Or, when he gets up half-way through the video game he is playing with his brother and I call him back: "What's going on little man?" and he says: "I. don't. want. to. play. anymore."
At dinner when he hungrily looks up from his nearly empty plate there is: "I. want. to. have. some. more. noodles." And later: "I'm. full."
He can say it. The words are there, but he waits to hear my words echo back to him. If I don't he loses steam and trails off into nothing.
I encourage and cajole. Anything to get him to turn his thoughts from silence into words.
Yesterday when we were out raking leaves and despite the cold Oliver took off his sweater. In the spirit of letting him decide for himself I didn't interfere. Then, a half-hour later he picked up the sweater from where it had landed on the back deck and handed it to me saying (without the need for me to repeat it back to him): "I'm cold. I want to put my sweater on." Just like that; full of the glory of pronouns.
He's still mostly quiet and, like almost everyone else in the house, lost in the wake of the verbal typhoon that is Sami. He is pointing now, to everything, with ease and without prompts. We play the pointing game every time we go to get Sami from school and the words are there. "I see a big truck." "I see the sky." "I see a house." I wish someone could tell me what his language would look like in a year, five years or ten. But for now it feels like we're getting somewhere.
For now I let it be enough.