Most people that know the Imp and I know that at one point she was 6 months behind with her speech. A year ago, we were seeing speech therapists that ended up being a pointless waste of everybody's time because the Imp wasn't interested in them. If they tried to get her to play with what they wanted, she ignored them. If they tried to involve themselves in what she was already playing with, she'd walk off and do something else. She didn't have the vocabulary that was expected for a 2 1/2 year old. But we did realise that her vocabulary did consist of a lot of cooking terms that wouldn't normally be known by a little...we could go shopping and she could point out and say 'garlic' and she also knew that it went into our bolognaisse (she didn't have a word for that, but if I said what we were having she would start getting the ingredients out of the cupboard).
I finally decided to not bother with the speech therapists any more, knowing that she would eventually suss it out. What has actually happened is that she skipped the babbling stage and went straight into clear words, then immediately into sentences when she was ready. In March, it was like a switch had been flicked. She wasn't going to talk until she could say it properly, it seemed. Our relationship has actually improved since she's no longer getting frustrated at me not being able to understand her.
But I think she's skipped another stage...the 'Why' stage. In chatting with her today about dinner, I said 'I think we're going to have eggs for dinner'. The response that I get from her is a phrase that I've heard her say for a couple of days...'Are you sure?'. Well, yes, I am sure that we are going to have eggs for dinner. I forgot to pull meat out of the freezer, and the eggs are sitting on the counter, readily available. Not what you expect your 3 1/2 year old to ask, but I'll go with it. It's a lot easier to answer than 'why?', at least so far.
'Are you sure?' is a question that's commonly asked by a lot of people. 'Are you sure you really want to be doing that?', 'Are you sure that is what you really want?', 'Are you sure that is your final answer?', 'Are you sure that's what you believe?'. Such a broad but simple question, and it can really set you thinking. It reminds you to think things through, to make sure that you're not leaping lightly to a decision. It's ok to have the occasional snap decision, but most things need to have a bit of contemplation. There are steps that need to be taken in your thought process for bigger decisions. I've had a few of those big decisions in my life, and I thoroughly thought my actions through, and followed through with my processes, only to have outsiders ask me 'Are you sure?'.
One of the things that I was ultimately sure about was my decision about religious beliefs. I was raised Christian, and all of my family still are, which is perfect for them. But I found that I was unhappy and questioning a lot of what was being taught. The more I thought about it, the more of a burden of unhappiness it became. When the opportunity arrived to study and research other paths of faith and enlightenment, it was like a a light at the end of a tunnel. I knew in my heart that faith should not be a burden, it should bring you joy, comfort, and support. Sometimes it is a solitary path, but in all actuality you aren't ever actually alone. For me, I always feel the presences of my goddesses and gods, as well as those of my grandmothers, spirit guides, and spirit friends.
So, when the question is raised 'Are you sure?', well, my answer is yes. By the time that I've been asked that question, I'll have already thought through my options, done any research required, and come to my final conclusion. But it's good to double check, whether it's somebody asking, or you asking yourself. Sometimes, you need to reassure yourself. Regarding my faith, yes, I am absolutely positive, and there will be no changing my mind. A long path opened up when I made that decision, and it is the biggest sureties of my life.
As for dinner, I'm liking the Imp asking me 'are you sure?'. It gives me the chance to ask what her opinion is on it, to give her a say in what we're doing or having. Yes, she may only be 3 1/2, but her opinion is just as valid as mine is, and gives her the confidence that she can help.
P.S. Don't forget to check out my guest post today over at The Pagan Mom Blog!