“I’d be safe and warm / if I was in L.A.” ~California Dreaming (The Mamas and The Papas)
This lack of communication thing is killing me. And the worst are the times when I want to talk with her, and there is no answer, no response. Am I being ignored? Does she knowingly not respond? Does she not hear that I want her attention? Whatever the reason, the appearance of being ignored or even avoided makes me not want to, afraid to, initiate communication. But the alternative is the inevitable silence, she does not initiate. Hmmm, how do you spell s-t-a-l-e-m-a-t-e?
Pearlsky has been home over a week now, but luckily the school summer program starts tomorrow. While she was home, the nanny started at about 2:00 PM everyday, so I stayed home until then. As you know, I adore Pearlsky, but this is a tough job. Being with her 20 hours of everyday is not easy, especially without the communication. We did practice our stick-out-your-tongue-on-request thing, to good success, not 100% yet, but beyond that, it was mostly watching television. There was some book reading. We went on some long walks, actually lots of them, and that was at least healthy for us. But it was quiet. Maddingly so.
The French don’t always get it right, but Voltaire darn well did …
If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.
But the key there is “If you wish …”
Yeah. I don’t have anything to add, just yeah.
As someone who works alone, I suggest inviting other people on your walks so you have someone to talk to. An elderly neighbor, someone else who freelances, a teacher who is on summer break, etc.
Sounds like audio books might be enjoyable and good for her, and perhaps for you too.
Take her out for a pedicure? I bet she’d get a kick out of one of those places where you stick your feet in a vat of water and little fish come and tickle your feet, nibbling off the dead skin. I love those, personally.
I cannot relate to the silence, other than when I speak to my non-verbal cousins (one aged 13, one age 28) and have a hard time knowing what to say at the point where you’d usually be answered back. (Due to this blog, I have stopped asking them questions. They used to be verbal, but have deteriorated drastically on a muscular level,so I believe it would be the torture you describe for them to want to answer but not be able to.)
What I can relate to is having your kid for many more hours than you’re used to. Things I can deal with for a smaller time become unbearable when it’s an extended time. My patience gets thinner and thinner.
You’ve mentioned that Pearlsky laughs when amused. Does it help the silence when she does that?
Such a small bit of communication (comments) on this post… The comment just above is astute – seems to understand you, SD. Small comfort?
My ‘terms’ – are pretty much built into blogging – I get to choose if I comment and what I post on my own blog. Would that Pearlsky had so much choice.
I cannot relate but I am so glad you wrote this post.
On a totally unrelated note, California Dreamin’ was playing on the Muzak at work when I read this post. Odd.
Do you like to sing? Singing might be easier for you as a way of letting her hear and possibly respond to your voice, because it doesn’t carry the same weird lonely feeling that talking does, when there is no response. And she likes music.
Even with talking, since she perks up when you are around, per her nannies, and since she likes listening to music, it seems very likely to me that she likes to hear your voice.
Is there a voluntary action or inaction that she has available that you could start to try associate with talking? Maybe if you touch her or do something physical at the same time as talking to her, so she has a wider range of potential actions available. It may not work but it would give you a goal to work toward that wasn’t too connected to your own emotional state. From things you’ve said, it does seem that she has a set of expressions available to her – laughing, crying – but those related to strong emotions, and that she doesn’t express the middle range of emotions outwardly. Unfortunately talking with or listening to a loved one is a mild pleasure, the sort that she may enjoy a lot but not enough to raise a response way up to the surface. But maybe if there’s more of a range of sensory input for her when you’re talking to her, it could bring her into a higher range of responsiveness.
Totally just guessing around the little I know. I’m so sorry you’re not getting the response you need, and I hope it gets easier when she’s back in school. Hugs if you want ’em.
I’m curious about the tongue thing, can she direct her tongue left or right? Can she follow an “if… then stick out your tongue” kind of command? Can you rig up a switch that she could hit with her tongue?
My daughter is non-verbal, so I totally get it. You could just be crazy and continuously talk to yourself like I do. If my daughter could talk, she would probably tell me to shut it. I also have been known to sing Raffi’s “Baby Beluga” at the top of my lungs leaving the clinic to try to calm her down. I have a horrible voice by the way, and no shame 🙂 You mentioned before that Pearlsky has shown excitement to hear your voice. So at least you know she loves you and hearing your voice.