Some time last week, somewhere in the universe, a switch was thrown. That little baby toddler who was so hard to corral, who stared blankly (or smirked impirshly) when given commands, who did not bend to discipline, this little kid started to change.
At first, it was the blank stares being replaced with actions that corresponded to the command (sometimes called "obedience"). You can't imagine my surprise when my sentence, "Levi, let's get your milk and then go back to your room," was followed by Levi getting his milk and going back to his room. I would say it was a fluke, but it has happened a lot lately.
And then, just when I least expected it, Levi started signing "please." We've been consistently working on this sign since before Christmas, but nearly every tie we tried it, he growled at us and pulled his hand away. Sometime this week, we asked him to say "please", and his little hand went up to his chest, making the proper sign. We were unabashedly thrilled.
This breakthrough, combined with his increased comprehension, has made communicating with Levi so much less stressful. He understands more easily, can tell us what he wants, and sweetly signs "please." Ah, such a relief.
Every day he seems to increase his understanding by leaps and bounds. Here are some glimpses into Levi's world.
Levi whole-heartedly adores his dog. He squeals with joy when he sees Nash and enjoys showing his dog affection by driving his cars on Nash's back, pulling Nash's tail, swatting Nash's snout, pulling
Nash's fur, and - his personal favorite - sitting on Nash. Poor dog. Nash tolerates only so much before he gives us that look, imploring us to make it stop. We regularly run interference, and we are trying to teach Levi "gentle." He kind of gets it. When asked to be gentle, Levi will give Nash a few gentle rubs before he tries to stick his finger up the dog's nose or some other antagonizing gesture.
One of Levi's new ideas he likes to communicate is, "Let's go outside and take a walk." That's my translation. What you actually see is Levi pulling the stroller to the door, pointing at the door, and saying, "Daaaa? Daaaaaaa? DAAAAAAA??" Note, the question marks are in there because each of these noises has an upward inflection, as if he's asking a question. But they are really statements. And the longer you delay in accommodating his request, the louder and higher in pitch the question/statements get.
Last Friday it rained all day. So when Levi asked if he could go on a walk, I tried to explain to him that it was rainy and miserably and really awful weather for a walk. Unfortunately, Levi doesn't understand that yet. So, we donned our rain gear and went to play in mud puddles. It was a blast for both of us. Maybe one of my favorite Levi memories to date.
Rain jacket courtesy of Lindon's parents. It fits so well, and it really kept him dry!
Another favorite activity for Levi is looking at the local wildlife through the front door. Of course, in our neighborhood that means spotting squirrels and feral cats, and when he finds them, he squeals with happiness. Also, note that sunlight is indeed streaming through the storm door. I don't know how long it will last before Levi is able to force open that door beceause it's about as sturdy as an index card. Hopefully we can get a new door before that happens.
Little sweet face. Even on his off days, this kid has a sweet, sweet disposition. He loves to laugh and to sing, and there is no end to the joy he brings us.