I had the longest conversation I’ve ever had with Kate recently. It wasn’t ground-breaking stuff, but it was an actual conversation, give-and-take. Her big sister isn’t even that great at the give-and-take stuff.
She was asking me questions, waiting for answers, and responding to the answers. Which sounds suspiciously like “listening” to me.
That can’t be right.
We talked about where Flora was (downstairs). We talked about what we were going to do after Aiysha changed her diaper (go get Flora and go to the farmers market). She pointed out the colors of things on the wall to me (“It’s a red apple. It’s a blue bird.”)
Shortly after Kate got her ear tubes in April — say, about two weeks later — her language took off. She had always been developmentally appropriate, but it went from two or three word sentences to five, six, seven words. From observations to questions, then checking on the answers to the questions. She started using language to make sense of things and comply with us (“First you get your diaper changed. Then we go outside to play.” “First you eat some peas. Then you can have a treat.”)
The world, it seems, started to make a different kind of sense to her. And it continues. She asks questions: “Where is Flora?’ “What are we doing after ‘yisha changes my diaper?” And after that? And after that? She pays attention. “Flora’s downstairs,” she’ll tell me. “It’s time to go to the farmers market.”
She seems to be actively seeking information now — she seems to realize how that works. And not in the rapid-fire way of her sister, who can’t let you get a word in — Flora just fires questions and requests at me; sometimes I’m not even sure what I’m answering. (This is not a critique of my older daughter. They are just wildly different girls. Which is just the way it is. I can extol Flora elsewhere.)
Of course, this will have its downsides too. Her first question this morning, for example, was, “Will you buy me Pet Shops?”