Wren points at a water bottle.
Usually she wants to drink.
I pick it up and open it. She looks inside. Bobs in excitement. Then points to one of the other water bottles. She babbles with word-like things.
Being deaf makes me good with word-like things. I am accustomed to trying to arrange what little I can hear with what little I can see on the lips, and making sense of everything as it filters through context.
One path would see me annoyed. Drink. Here. I opened this for you. Why do you want another one?
This path, though. I hear a hiss in her word-like things. A “sh” like lispy slurry to her babble.
“This?” I say. I point.
“Da!” She says, enthustically in Russian.
I open that bottle. “Empty.” I say. There is no water in it. She says “dee” or “tee” or something completely different. “Empty. ” I repeat.
She points to another bottle. We talk about empty, about full, about red and blue and black and purple. About this and that. (And yes, we have a LOT of water bottles. We are a very thirsty family of six.)
She isn’t thirsty. She is communicating. She is learning to make and organize sounds. She is practicing communication.