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Thursday, November 30, 2006

In the Air

Speech therapy, if you pay attention, has an on effect on your life style. Ordinary little things, take on a panoply of different inferences. You find yourself behaving in a strange manner that defies rational explanation. [translation = at least if you are talking to Joe Blow {Sub translation = the man on the Clapham Omnibus}]

For instance, I don't know if you've noticed if your child is able to whistle? [translation = if he/she is, I'm sure you've noticed {sub translation = if he /she isn't able to, then you should count your lucky stars}]

Blowing and whistling are skills that are acquired as you develop jaw muscles, amongst other things. The opposite of blowing, is the more advanced skill of 'sucking.' Now, I wouldn’t go as far to say that we’ve mastered ‘sucking’ but we’re well on the way. The lip closure is a bit haphazard, but the motivational part is overcoming the aversion part, which is a plus. [translation = if you have no motivation to suck [or blow] for that matter, you are not going to get anywhere fast] For the moment, sucking on a straw works because of the positive reinforcer of something pleasant tasting coming into your mouth.

However, it appears that all this concentration on ‘sucking’ is all very well but we have neglected this skill's partner, namely ‘blowing.’ I vaguely remember practicing blowing during the summer, but as with most things that I start doing, I stopped doing it when something else cropped up that also needed my attention. ‘Blowing’ was fine in the summer, as blowing, if you’re not very good at it, can be a messy business. Naked in the sunshine blowing bubbles, or trying to, was o.k. with me. The boys both failed miserably with this task, but at least they were willing to try, whereas the previous summer they were not similarly inclined; blow bubbles? Why would we want to do that exactly? Could you explain the purpose of blowing bubbles? What is the gain for us in blowing bubbles? Just don’t get it. You want us to blow bubbles? Well run along and leave us alone with our Pokemons and trains, you blow the bubbles if you find it so entertaining.

The plan, as suggested by his teacher, is to incorporate candles into every meal time. Every meal time with be like a birthday occasion with a small lit candle for them to blow out. Seems like an innocent enough suggestion. Doesn’t it? I’m a bit wary about fire, flames, burning and a skill set that’s not equipped to cope with such a phenomenon.

So are we going to huff and puff and blow those flames out? No, no, no, much to simple. Instead we’re going to learn breath control so that we can bend the flame into a horizontal position without extinguishing the flame. Right. That’s apart from the problem of what food stuff to insert the candle into. The suggestion is to use muffins, but muffins five times a day, does seem like a high price to pay in exchange for breath control. A bowl of Goldfish aren’t up to the job, [translation = like shifting sand they do not provide a stable base for a potential fire hazard.] I envisage sinkage problems with the chocolate pudding, a slice of bread isn’t thick enough. What else? Bananas! Of course! That should do the trick. [translation = work]

As always, good timing is an essential element to the success of the overall plan. I wait until hunger is at it's zenith, fiddle about in the kitchen, matches near to hand, ready to present his prize of the 6 year old equivalent of bananes flambe. Since by 5:30 we are in darkness, and the lights are dimmed, my entrance is spectacular. [translation = an arresting figure]

I approach the dining room table where three small people await sustenance. I find that only one is remaining.
"Oh mom, it's not my birthday until Friday, whadayathinkyr doin?" I look around in the gloom for the other two. I find them hiding under the table with the table cloth yanked down for extra protection. One huge pair of eyes greets me, the other pair is covered with a plate, "don't burn me, I am the good one."
"Why you are stabbing my banana, he is dah good one." [translation = another miserable failure]

1 comment:

Jerry Grasso said...

Keep up the work on this one. Demetrius still has yet to master blowing his nose. That makes having a cold such a joy for all of us....

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