Saturday, July 5, 2014
Matthew is considered primarily non-verbal. The words he can say the best are: go, mama, and dada. He can do approximations for "hi" and "bye". He says, "ba" for bath and "wu" for waffles. He also uses lots of signs. Honestly, I have lost track of how many he knows. The cool thing is that if he doesn't know a sign, he will make up his own. If he wants an underdog on the swing he will push his hand backwards under the swing while he is on it. He folds his hand in prayer when he is talking about church. If he rubs his own chin, that means he wants to feel your beard. Even though he knows the sign for grandpa, he has a special sign when Grandpa Buettner is around. He rubs his hand across his head because he loves it when Grandpa Buettner scratches his head. He also has an app on his iPad that he uses to communicate (especially at school), but that's probably a whole post of its own.
You would think that not being able to "talk" in the traditional sense would limit him, but it rarely does. Not to say that we always understand him. For example, just yesterday, he kept pointing to a shelf on the top of the garage. I went up a step stool and couldn't see anything that he would want (or be allowed to have...i.e. fire starters.) Rob even lifted him up so that he could see the top shelf. We still aren't sure what he thought he wanted. But I would say at least 8 out of 10 times he figures out a way to be understood.
One type of communication that he is really good at is being bossy. Bossy with a capital B. B-o-o-o-o-s-s-y. Bossy AND persistent! Here are some of his most popular things to be bossy about:
1. In the morning when I'm getting dressed, he will pull open my bottom drawer and point to my jeans. Hey kid, I'm not wearing jeans when it's 80 degrees out! See # 2 for why he wants me to wear jeans.
2. When I am wearing jeans, he insists that I keep my phone in my back pocket. If I set it down, he will pick it up and put it back in my pocket. If I humor him and let it stay there, he will follow me around and tap it about every 30 seconds, just to make sure it's still there. To the casual observer, it would appear that he' s tapping my butt, but really he's tapping to check my phone. He will push it down farther if it looks like it is up too high.
3. He will often insist we take off our shoes and put on slippers. He LOVES slippers! (If you bought him slippers he wouldn't wear them, but he will steal yours. He does this to both grandmas often!). At our house he mainly just tries to get us to wear them, but he has been seen shuffling around in Abby's fluffy purple ones. (Yes, footwear...slippers, boots, shoes could probably be it's own post too).
4. Keeping with the theme of wanting us to be comfortable, he will make us sit down in the recliner and then put the footrest up.
5. Once, you are sitting though, be careful, because chances are he will be bossy and ask you to cross your legs in a certain way. He does this by just picking up your leg and putting it where he wants it.
6. If he lifts up his shirt, it means he wants you to scratch his back. He has Grandma Buettner wrapped around his finger on this one.
7. Pretty much anyone who meets Matthew has been asked to drive. He could have just met you or you could be only 10 and he'll still ask you to drive. And he will ask you...over and over and over!
8. Now that he has you in the car, the bossiness stops, right? Wrong! Sometimes he'll point which direction he thinks you should go. He tries to be a radio controller from the backseat too. If you switch stations and he liked the song that was playing or doesn't like the new one, he will start to cry. It took us awhile to forgive out why he was spontaneously crying in the car.
So...as you can see...never underestimate the strong, silent type.