For several weeks she kept tapping on her dolls' chests and I would say "chest" and she would tap again, and I knew I wasn't saying the exact word she was thinking of, no matter what I tried, until finally, after weeks of guessing, she said "shirt," struggling with she "sh" sound, but managing it all the same.
When she brought over her Olaf doll I said "carrot." She pointed again. "Orange carrot?" Her finger tapped insistently on the plastic nose. "The carrot is orange. Orange carrot. Carrot. Carrot! Carrot?" Each time she would tap the nose I would say some version of "carrot," while she stood waiting for me to find the word she was looking for. I'd pause sometimes, waiting for her to fill in the blank, but this time she didn't find the right phrase either and so she waited for me to figure it out.
She was patient this time. Sometimes, when she thinks I should know the right word, she'll be impatient, but this time she was insistent but patient.
While I was nursing James yesterday she brought over the door mat from the front door and laid it across the arm of the chair so that I could see the snowman and then pointed out his nose too. "Snowman? Carrot? Orange?"
Today, about an hour in to her therapy session, she raced across the room and grabbed my hand and pressed a puzzle piece against my palm. Turning it over I saw that the puzzle piece was shaped like the letter C and was covered in carrots.
"C is for Carrot" I said, not realizing right away that I'd finally gotten it. Her face lit up and suddenly I realized what I'd just said. All weekend she'd been asking me to say "M is for Mermaid." That one I know. Apparently I was supposed to be doing the same thing with the letter C and Carrots.
I don't quite have her favorite puzzle memorized just yet. I do know that W is for Waffle and that when she saw me making waffles she raced over to the bin her therapists bring every day and dug through it and found the W and brought it out to show everyone.
And the next time I can't figure out what word she's looking for I'll know to try out the letter of the word I think I'm supposed to be saying, because it seems like there's a pretty good chance that it will be the right answer. This month anyways.