Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Abby Get Your Phone

Abby has always been obsessed with phones. I've never quite been able to understand it, since her father and I are not big phone users, in the traditional sense. Once we got smartphones, we began to spend a great deal of time watching videos, playing games, listening to podcasts, reading blogs or articles, or browsing the internet on them. However, we don't spend a whole lot of time with them pressed to our ear in conversation.

Nevertheless, not only did Abby pick up this affectation just about as soon as she could grasp objects, she somehow has always had an uncanny knack for recognizing toy phones that look nothing like any real phones she's ever seen. Tom and I have reflected with amusement on more than one occasion that some of these toy makers are behind-the-times in making toy phones that resemble the wall phones of two or three decades ago, as hardly anyone actually uses those anymore, but Abby always seemed to know what they were. To be fair though, she's often just as happy to grab a TV remote or rectangular-shaped block for pretend phone-play as a toy actually designated for such use, so perhaps it's all just coincidence, in the end.

Once Abby began to talk, it seemed to me that it would be a sure thing that she could do so over a phone, but this was not the case. While she was happy to hold inactive or play phones to her ear and chatter into the mouthpiece, she would develop stage fright at the sound of an actual voice coming from the speaker and completely clam up. Over time, she began to get over her shyness enough to attempt interaction, but not the verbal kind. Perhaps confused by the fact that she could see a picture of the speaker's face on the phone when the call began, she seemed to assume that her face could be seen, too, and would smile and wave without actually speaking. This was enormously cute to behold but could get a little frustrating when we just wanted her to make a sound for a far away family member to hear and feel a little closer to her.

At some point, she became comfortable enough that you could always count on at least a word or phrase out of her, but she's never actually engaged in a full conversation with anyone.

Until today, that is.

Nana called to find out how Mia and Michael are doing, and Tom handed Abby the phone. How I wish I could remember the whole three-minute conversation. I cannot, but I can tell you how it began:

Nana: "Hi, Abby!"

Abby: "Can you bring me some new books?"

She's nothing if not direct.

A couple of weekends ago, with Nana and (quite likely) a new book.


Mia and Michael, by the way, are healing quickly and doing well. I've observed no fresh bleeding today, and Michael seemed completely at ease- no more odd twitching and curling of his upper lip. Though Mia was a bit grumpy today (likely because she did not sleep well last night after the huge schedule interruption that was yesterday), but one thing she was not: gassy. Also, though I'm still well-rehearsed in offering her the opportunity to nurse every hour, Mia was not particularly interested at least half the time, hopefully because she was sated enough not to be hungry again so soon. I'm still too nervous to read much into it yet, but it seems that things are looking up already.


Updated 7/28/2013

Nana- who recalled the above-mentioned conversation much more clearly than I did- offered me a transcript, of sorts, recording her version of the event. Here it is, in full:

(When she was first handed the phone, she was unsure to which child she was speaking.) 
Nana: "Is this Michael?"
Abby: "No, it's Michael's mommy."

Nana: "Oh Abby, are you taking care of Michael?"
Abby: "Yes."

Nana: "How is Michael?"
Abby: "Good."

Nana: "How is his mouth?"
Abby: "Good. Can you bring me some books?"

Nana: "Yes. What kind of books?"
Abby: "New books."