When we went to Gymboree a few weeks ago there was a sign in the classroom that read, "Who says first words have to be words?" The sign was promoting their baby sign language class.
As you know Faith cannot make noise so audible words will have to wait. We've been working on sign language but Faith doesn't seem to be catching on. Lately we've been concerned about what goes on cognitively with Faith. She is very interactive and happy but she doesn't seem to "get things." For example she doesn't know labels. Multiple times a day we ask her "where's Daddy?" or "where's Mommy?" She just smiles. Kids half her age know and understand words such as "toy" or "bottle." We aren't even sure if she knows her name. Yesterday Faith proved that there's a lot more going on in her little noggin then we thought. We were sitting on the couch and we asked her "Where's Elway?" (Elway is our yellow lab) she looked over in his direction. We both looked at each other...naaa..just a coincidence. Again.."Where's Elway?" Again she looked. Ok...we said..let's test this.."Where's mommy?" She didn't look at Elway, she didn't look at me. "Where's the TV?" Again...she didn't look anywhere. Once more we asked if she knew where Elway was, and again she looked at him.WOW!! It was real!!! Today I kept asking her, and again and again she'd look for him...even when he wasn't in the room. She also did the same thing with our other dog, Buffalo!
I can't even begin to tell you how much this meant to us. It was as if we connected with her. The only thing I can relate this to is what it might be like sitting by someone in a coma and talking to them for months...sometimes years and getting no response..then one day you get a flicker of the hand, or a nod of the head..... all along this person who you thought was not aware of what you've been saying responds to you...they were listening they just didn't have the ability to respond. Until one day it happens....
So we're taking this as Faith's first "words." no they aren't spoken...they aren't even signed...but they are understood. And that speaks volumes to us!
OK so now that we have the sappy story out of the way here are some clips of Faith playing with her "brothers." She is so enthralled with them- anytime they come near her she beams with delight. They are very good to her too- in fact we have to worry more about her hurting them! She really tortures them...grabbing their tails, poking eyes, holding onto their fur as tight as she can. Buffalo (the chocolate lab) tolerates her beatings the best. In the first clip you'll see how Elway gets a little freaked when she goes for the tail: