Last night John tooted four times in succession.
"Oh! Who did that?"
"Dohn." There was a pause as he became thoughtful, then declared, "MEEE!"
I was so surprised and excited, I felt like I sprouted enormous yellow petals all over my body during the split-second in which my jaw dropped.
"John! You used a pronoun! Yay!"
"MEEE!" (Of course, I should know by now that when I get excited about something he's going to want to say it again.)
I practically sang, "Me! I tooted" and John compliantly copied, "Mee! I doo-dih!" over and over. Meanwhile, big sister was patiently waiting for the boring toot-talk to be over so that the lights could go out. It wasn't exactly that John used a pronoun, it was that he referred to himself with a pronoun and he did it spontaneously. Are you sensing how hard it is for me to restrain myself from typing "himself" and "spontaneously" in all caps?
I still can't believe it even as I write this.
Just last week, John's PT and I were listening to his new words and we agreed acceptingly that it would be a long time before he referred to himself as me or I. What caused this jump to happen? Acceptance? Coincidence? Coenzyme Q10? Barney?
As if I wasn't surprised enough, today we made a quick stop at the library to return books. I reached to transfer John from carseat to wheelchair and--? he wouldn't let me touch him. He insisted upon getting down himself, though slowly and with help, and crawling all the way into the library while Pooh Bear rode alone in the wheelchair. He repeated this going back to the car, back out at Grandma's, back in after Grandma's, and back out to speech therapy at Dell Children's Medical Center. After a strenuous speech session he allowed me to wheel him back to the car, but by the time we finished our 30 minute drive home, with the requisite animal cookies and ice water, he was ready to do it himself one last time and crawled over the pea gravel into the house. I showed him how to say "All by myself."
When John was first diagnosed, I knew it was possible that he could be a baby forever. Carrying him, speaking for him, feeding him, diapering and dressing him, and scheduling him has been an exhausting, four-year-long infancy. Last week I gave John a big boy haircut for the first time. Right now, he is watching the movie Cars with his seven-year-old sister and bugging her.
I think he might become a big boy.