My girl is persistent. Thankfully.
She tries to tell me things. I nearly always know what she’s saying. But now and then, I just miss it.
Sometimes she gives me more than one chance to get her message. Other times, if I miss it, then too bad so sad for me.
Chloe, age 12 (and a half!), is mostly nonverbal. But she is quite a communicator. She gets her point across usually — especially if you’re “listening.”
Recently Chloe tried to tell me something for about 7 days in a row. Each time, I responded in a way that was NOT satisfying to her. But she was determined for me to understand…because she would greatly benefit from my understanding.
You see, Chloe has a love affair with stuffed dogs, especially dogs that have batteries and make noise. She owns a half dozen varieties of the My Pal Scout dog. She loves them and often gets them all going at one time, making them say their phrases together in unison. She also often googles “My Pal Scout” on YouTube and watches reviews of Scout and his female counterpart, Violet (of whom she also has several varieties).
For days, Chloe would squeeze the belly of her My Pal Scout and vocalize to get my attention. Each time I responded with, “Scout’s belly doesn’t do anything. You just push his 2 hands and his 2 feet.”
And each time she would squeeze his belly again, not satisfied with my answer.
Then she would try again later that day or the next day. Each time I answered that Scout’s belly isn’t a button.
The day that Chloe said she wanted to go shopping with 2 of her cousins and me, I knew she had something up her sleeve because she is not one to volunteer to run errands. She much prefers the privacy of her own bedroom to going out and about. She grabbed her Scout as we headed out to the car.
Once in the car, she vocalized to get my attention and proceeded to squeeze Scout’s belly. I responded with my usual, “Scout’s belly doesn’t do anything. You have to squeeze his hands or his feet.” This time I added, “Some toys have bellies that you squeeze, but Scout just has his hands and his feet.”
Chloe then made a heart sign over her own belly and looked at me expectantly. This caused me to focus in a little harder.
“Is there a Scout with a heart?” I asked.
“Yes,” she nodded.
It was then I realized that Chloe must have seen a later-version of Scout on a YouTube toy review that has a belly that you push. Or maybe a heart that lights up or something. “And you want to buy it at the store?” I asked her.
“Yes,” she nodded again, surely relieved that her mama was finally catching on.
“And THAT’s why you wanted to come shopping with us?” I smiled at her.
“Yes,” she nodded triumphantly.
I was glad I had figured out what she had been saying, but I doubted the accuracy of our communication. The parts I had understood were a belly to push and a heart, but LeapFrog wouldn’t put hearts on the belly of a dog. Maybe you push the belly and the heart lights up or something?? I wasn’t sure. But she had clearly placed the heart sign on her own belly. She was probably not paying attention to what she was doing.
A bit later, we arrived at the LeapFrog aisle of Toys ‘R Us and lo and behold right there front and center was a Scout dog with hearts on his belly. She grabbed Scout and pressed his belly. He immediately sang a happy song in response.
A very happy Chloe held Scout tight as we made our way to the front of the store to check out. She had seen this very Scout on YouTube and had very clearly shown me that he had a belly that you push and that belly had hearts on it!
And now a happy girl owned it!
In case you ever wonder, just know that persistence pays off. As does patience. As does shopping with the girls every now and then.
Welcome to the family, New Scout!