The following conversation happened last night after dinner while Brooke and I were cocooning in bed.
She was watching Elmo’s World on her iPad and I was finishing a terribly written yet improbably compelling mystery that I picked up on the island. As soon as the conversation was over, she went back to Elmo and the Noodles, and I came here to record the conversation. Because Oh My God.
One note of warning: I typed this on my phone – with one thumb. I think you’ll understand why.
Brooke: Mr. Noodle can’t accept our apology!
Me: Why not, baby?
Her: Because he can’t talk.
Me, my voice thick with urgency: Oh, Brooke, please don’t think that. Just because he doesn’t talk with words doesn’t mean that he can’t accept our apology.
Her: But he can’t tell us.
Me: Well, maybe not with words, but there are lots of other ways that he could tell us.
Her: He could use sign language!
Me: That’s right. Or maybe he could tell us with what he does. Like nodding, or giving us a hug, or sharing something with us, or still being our friend. Those would be ways that he might accept our apology without words.
Her: Like Rhema would.
Me: That’s right, baby, just like Rhema would. Please always remember that just because someone doesn’t talk, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to say.
Her: Like Rhema.
Me: Exactly. Or my friend, Barb. She doesn’t talk, but she’s Mama’s really good friend. And she has a lot to say! A lot of autistic people don’t talk. Did you know that, Brooke?
Her: Is your friend Amy austistic*?
Me: Yep. She’s another good example. She doesn’t speak with her mouth, but she says a lot by typing.
Her: Remember when I couldn’t talk?
Me: I do, baby. Do you?
Her: I do. But now I talk very well.
Me: You do indeed, sweetheart.
Her: What does “indeed” mean?
Me, searching for other words: Hmm … It means “definitely” .. or, let’s see … “surely.”
So saying, “You do indeed,” is like saying, “You do speak well, definitely.”
Her: I do of very well indeed. Just like Mr. Noodle.
Mr. Noodle, who has never uttered a word, speaks very well indeed. By George, I think we’ve got it.