Four-year-old Nikki is my tomboy. Among her interests, she lists cars, trucks, climbing and kittens. OK, the last one's a little soft, but what can you do?
Yesterday, she pressed her nose to the front of my car to hear the engine run.
It's hard for her, seeing as how her older (and fairly bossy) sister is a girly girl. Not only does Nikki not get to play with trucks, she has dolls foisted on her constantly.
So, it was no surprise when the babysitter told me she caught Nikki standing outside in a Snow White dress, mixing mud with a broom and then using it to paint the playhouse.
I would have had pictures, but the babysitter was concerned her newly sided, white house was next.
Nikki started speech therapy this week. Given her love of cars, it made complete sense that her biggest problem is that she turns on her motor (known to anyone older than 14 as a voice box) for nearly every sound she makes.
Try it. Your mouth does the exact same thing to make the sounds for "F" and "V." The difference is you use your voice box for one and not the other.
I have to admit I was way off. Although her teachers can't guarantee Nikki is actually from Earth, they can tell me that the primary language on whatever planet she calls home is, in fact, English.
I think that's half the battle right there.
When I first approached school officials with my concerns, I had no idea what would follow.
Since then, I've had one meeting with her "team" to discuss our options and goals.
I love that I now have a team, and it's made up of people who not only care, but also have the skills to do something.
I only had one of the necessary qualities.
After her first day of speech therapy, Nikki came home and told me "Say "fffffffffffsnake."
OK, we have a way to go, but she's trying.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org