Gideon wanders around the room with a Power Ranger. He stops to make the toy bounce around a table and the baby gate. He babbles to himself; sometimes loudly and sometimes very quietly. Sometimes I can understand a few words or the tune to a song. He'll wander over to where I'm sitting and climb up beside me. He snuggles next to my arm and keeps talking to his Power Ranger. He always sits as close as he can to me.
Tonight, as I dressed him for bed, I had to chase him a little and then wrangle him to the ground. I got his diaper changed and put his clothes on. I was able to get him to say "shirt". Kinda. After we said our family prayers, he was sent to me for kisses. He kissed me soundly and I grabbed him up to snuggle and tickle him. After he finished giggling, I sat him in front of me.
"I love you. Can you say 'I love you', Gideon?"
Nothing. He can't even look me in the eyes. He just looks around the room. No more babbling. Just wandering eyes.
"Gideon? *tap my chin twice* Can you say 'I love you'?"
Still looking around.
"Baby, can you say 'Mama'?"
He briefly meets my eyes and grins. So I just gather him up and kiss him again. I put him to bed and tell him I love him.
I don't know what my little boy dreams. I don't know what he thinks about. He doesn't tell me what he wants to eat and drink so I have to guess. He's not potty trained because every time I've tried to teach him he just repeats the words while smiling. He intently watches Play With Me Sesame, Imagination Movers and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He knows most of the episodes and has started to parrot them back.
Ben and I talked about Gideon yesterday. We talked about what we're missing. We don't get to hear little boy descriptions of anything. We play cars, Legos and blocks with Gideon but he gets distracted fast and will wander off. If the teachers at his various schools didn't tell us what happened during the day then we would have no idea if he had a good or bad day.
This is not to say that he won't learn. Better days are coming. Through speech and behavior therapy combined with time, he'll be able to communicate with us.
I still can't help but look at my little man as he sits playing with his toys and wonder what I'm missing.