I never thought I’d be so happy to report that my son will just NOT stop babbling. Although his vocabulary has yet to cross the ten-word mark, he has begun to mimic sounds and start conversations with people other than me- the most amusing of which is generally Iman. Khalid will grin excitedly at her, and say ‘Okay?’ and Iman will beam and reply ‘Hat!’ Of course, it’s much more than just ‘hat,’ to Iman, it’s a prolonged, ecstatic exclamation of haaaaAAAAAAt! in a high-pitched squeak bordering on baby giddiness.
Yes, Iman says hat, and she says it loud, and she says it clear, and it is as meaningful to her as ‘Okay’ is to Khalid. They had a three-way conversation yesterday with the Imam of the masjid during Isha prayer. It went like this.
Imam: (over loud speaker) Allahu Akbar
Imam: Sami’Allahu liman Hamida
Imam: Allu Akbar
Iman: HAAAAAAT! HAAAAAAAAAAAAT!
Of course, right after the jamaat finished, someone came over and banged angrily on the divider between the men’s and women’s sections, and frankly speaking, I was seriously offended. Yes, my kids were making noise, but children make noise in the masjid all the time. I was still praying though, and so my kids continued to fill the large, echoing dome of the masjid with hats and okays until the Imam came and knocked on the door (gently) of the women’s section and asked Ruth (who opened the door) to please bring the children outside.
When I finished praying I walked out and outside the women’s side entrance, saw HF talking to two men, presumably the Imam and one other local. Khalid, upon seeing HF, ran and flung himself into his arms and unleashed a series of happy Okays! According to HF, as soon as Khalid did this, both the men changed their stances from stern to understanding. It’s easier to be mad about someone’s bratty kids when 1. you can’t see them and 2. they’re not autistic.
Ruth and the kids & I waited in the car while HF talked with the Imam & Co for about ten minutes. Alhamdulillah, this is one wonderful thing about HF, if a situation gets tense, he doesn’t get mad, he gets charming. I told this to Ruth, and she laughed. “You’ll see,” I said, “By the time he finishes talking to them he’ll have made some new friends.”
And of course, he had. After an explanation of autism and Khalid’s understanding (or the lack thereof) the Imam invited him over for tea repeatedly and was disappointed when HF politely deferred. The second man then plied HF for his life story and then asked him to come over and fix his computer. Numbers were exchanged. We went back home.