I Want Coffee, Please

Unlocking T

Teghan was less than a year old when she said her first sentences. They were, “I read a book” and “go bye bye in the car?” It was cute the way she kind of stuttered whenever she said “in the.” Then one day she just stopped saying those things.

Sometimes I wonder why she ever did say those things. I mean, she didn’t even say “mama” or “dada” until very recently. She said a few words- like “shoe.” Then she didn’t. By the time she was three years old, we didn’t really think she would ever talk.

She is five now, and her vocabulary has improved. She knows what most things around her are called, and when asked she will make an effort at verbally labeling things. Some words are clearer than others. My husband takes pictures of everything on his phone and quizzes her. It’s interesting to see what words she cannot pronounce (which are most).

Spending time with Teghan, one would be surprised at just how much vocabulary she understands. Her receptive language is far beyond her expressive language. But even so, it remains fairly basic. She understands instruction, but we are a long way from conversational concepts, consequences, or reasoning. She is getting better at determining our meaning with instruction, though. She now knows that when we ask her to open a door or turn on a light that we may be talking about a different door or light than she is used to. She is now willing to change that routine a bit, and follow more specific direction; which means that if we ask her to turn on the light in the living room, she (maybe) won’t run upstairs to turn on the hall light instead. Nothing is obvious to her; it’s just about what she has done before, so watching her work that out is encouraging.  Continue reading

A Question of Time and History (and Other Questions No One is Asking)

Teghan Walking on the Wheel of History


I have a very clear memory of the day I learned to read a calendar. By this time I understood the concept of measuring time and how the days of the week went. My young brain had easily accepted how the months of the year were made up of these weeks, and all the reasons behind why there were more days in some months than others. The whole thing came together for me in a nice little package that I could reason out.

But something about that calendar really bothered me.

I remember sitting in the kitchen, staring at the wall calendar with my parents. I asked them how they knew, just by looking at the calendar, which week it was right now. I mean, sure it’s Sunday. But how do we know which Sunday it is just by looking at the calendar?

We just know.

We always stay aware of time, and we just know what day it is. So, when we look at the calendar we already know if it’s the third week of the month or the fourth week, and which day it is.

This answer was unacceptable to me. What was the point of a calendar, then, if we had to already know what day it was before we could read the thing?  Continue reading

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas (at least she’s easy to shop for)



I didn’t have too many big birthday parties growing up. Most years we just went out to eat at the place of my choice- and I usually chose Pizza Hut. Of course, in the eighties Pizza Huts were a little fancier. The pizzas cost more, and you actually ate inside the restaurant. Every Sunday my dad’s side of the family got together at my great-grandma’s house, so there would always be cake and ice cream that week, and I would get some cash. I usually shared this party with my older brother, whose birthday is just four days before mine.  Continue reading