Saturday, February 9, 2013

Under The Breath Talking

Yesterday, Janey was holding the LaLaLoopsy doll I got her for Christmas.  I asked her, in the way that I am constantly talking to her without expecting an answer "What is your dolly's name?"  She then talked under her breath, and I think she said "Elizabeth"  I said "Is Elizabeth your friend?" and got another under the breath answer, which I took as "my best friend"

This set up a perfect example of something that Janey has done since she was very, very little, before even the regression.  She says some of her most conversational and meaningful things in a very, very low voice, not quite a whisper but a fast and low tone that is quite hard to hear or understand.  And I am never sure if I am hearing and understanding her correctly.  It's an example of the Ouija Board phenomenon, as I think of it.  I WANT her to be saying certainly things, and so maybe my mind assigns that meaning to sounds that don't really mean that.  Or maybe she really does say meaningful things in a voice that's hard to understand.  This one was a case of something I'd love almost more than anything---for Janey to be playing with a doll, for her to have an imaginative life like that.  The very fact I was asking her the questions about the doll shows that.  And the human mind is good at making the world what it wants the world to be.  So did Janey mutter something at random and I heard "Elizabeth"?  Or did she say that?

I couldn't get any more from her about the subject.  She just went back to playing with the doll in her favorite way to play with anything---biting on Elizabath or Not-Elizabeth's foot.  But she was having a great day, and in general was alert and happy, so who knows?  Maybe sometimes we have to play those games with our mind.  Maybe that's part of how language happens---the first "Dada" and "Mama" might not really be those words, but we make them so, and they become meaningful.  Maybe I shouldn't care.  Maybe I shouldn't be so determined to make sure I'm never being fooled.  Maybe I will find Elizabeth and put her in bed with Janey and just feel happy, for now.

4 comments:

Zoe said...

My son does the same, and I find myself skeptical when his therapists point out a "word" he's said when it's more like an approximation if that, and made without eye contact and in a low voice. But they keep pointing them out and I'm slowly shifting my ideas on what "counts" and why and learning to recognize those attempts at words. And also trying to not get caught up in the did he/ didn't he like you're describing. So, basically - I feel you.

Suzanne said...

That is really good to hear, just to know someone else knows what I mean! I've had that happen too---when I was with a professional, they notice those under the breath words or not words and point them out, even in cases where I would not have even thought of it getting "credit" as a word. And I should try to do what you are doing---not really worry about whether they are words or not. I can respond to them like they are words, anyway, and that's not bad to do, I guess!

Sophie's Trains said...

I have told myself I was hearing things, because Sophie will throw out a "mama" (a word i so long to hear, as you can imagine) without looking at me, while seemingly engaged in something else. So i haven't been claiming the "mama" even though people have pointed it out too. A way to protect myself from further heartbreak I guess... but now, knowing that other kids do it too, i will reconsider. Perhaps they are like the shy among us, who find it hard to say intimate things while looking someone directly in the eye?

Suzanne said...

That might be it. I've thought of that---Janey doesn't use the regular social cues along with most things, so talking might be the same way. She might say things without using the kind of tone or volume that most people would. But I completely get not wanting to open yourself up to heartbreak. That's what I do all the time---I'd rather discount something she might be saying than to delude myself. That's the skeptic part of me, and I don't think I can change that, but it makes some sense that Sophie and Janey and others might try out talking they aren't ready to completely make public that way. It's really interesting knowing that other kids do it too!