Friday, June 14, 2013

Say my name, say my name

A few times during the week, Nikko will wake up between 11:30pm-1:00am, bolt out of bed and come looking for me to put him back to bed. Last night I told my husband that I wanted to take a quick shower before Nikko woke up. As I prepared my bathroom stuff, I heard Nikko fling open his bedroom door. Denis said he'd go sit with Nikko so I could go shower, so I turned around and went back to my business. Throughout my shower I could hear Nikko crying and getting upset because I wasn't the one in the room with him. I heard Nikko reciting phrases from movies and whining. As I finished up in the bathroom I heard him say, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"

That is the first time I have ever heard him call me Mommy independently, wanting me to come to him or needing my help. My heart softened and I hurried to relieve Denis so that I could be with Nikko to settle him back to sleep.

Nikko has said Mommy by rote when being prompted to say good bye, and he learned how to announce "MommyIgopoopoopotty" because that's the phrase I taught him to say when he ran toward the bathroom to do #2. And that's exactly how he says it, in one long sentence. But I felt differently when I heard him call out for me from the bedroom. It's been six years and I have never heard him call for me by name. Until last night. This is from a kid who does most of his talking during weekly speech therapy sessions, who can't tell me how his day at camp went, and who wanders back into his own little world while I try to pull him out long enough to get a few homework sheets completed.  Nikko saying "Mommy" was awesome because it means so much more than just one word: he verbally acknowledged my existence (that in of itself is huge), he knew what he wanted and expressed it with tone and feelings attached, he said Mommy instead of crying, whining or dropping to the floor in defiance, and he did something so neurotypical, so normal when he doesn't usually do what's normal or age appropriate.

I wonder when he'll say it again.