Word-Like Things and Being Open to Communication. 

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.

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