Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Aug 21, 1919-Another letter to Lila Chapman

August 21st 1919
Dear Mother,
Tad sits up alone in his little chair before his little table and we have begun to let him feed himself.  He gets along much better than most normal kids, no mussing things up, but he does stick a finger in now and then to locate things.  [kept doing that all his life from time to time-JB]  Tickled to be able to feed himself.  He insists on standing up with our help but cannot hardly hold himself on one foot while he pushes the other ahead.  But in a few days he will be walking.  He is just crazy to get around and feel things and when Jess let him feel the sideboard he said right away “Oh, brand new one”  Now who in thunder would think he would know that.  And yesterday we had him dressed for the first time while we took him down for a haircut and before we got home he wanted a drink and I took him into the drug store and got him one, and while there he felt of the marble top to the soda fountain and immediately wanted a soda, he knew that he was in the soda shop. 

He talks a good deal, some say more than he ever did before and that he talks plainer.  And when he thinks that possibly we don’t understand him he takes our hand and places it to his face and then talks and if we then place our face to his and answer he seems more satisfied.  I just left him playing with his bunnie rabbits and talking with them or rather to them and thoroughly enjoying himself.

I don’t know how we are going to discipline him, we have not the heart to spank him and we try to get for him everything he asks for and that is not much for it is just eats or some toy or candy or auto ride, but when he asks for something that we have not got and there is no way to tell him he just keeps on asking and asking until the tears come.  No whining only that hurt tone and we cannot stand it.  But before we are done he is going to be badly spoiled and we don’t know what we can do about it.
[Dr. Winthrop S. Chapman]

Monday, July 19, 2010

August 15, 1919 - more progress

August 15th 1919
[Dear Mother.]
Tad continues to get stronger very fast.  He holds himself together when we carry him now and sits up in the chair nicely and even tries a little to help with his feet when we pick him up.  For the past three days he has had a good deal to say about “I can’t see”.  He will try to look at his hands or at a paper or book.  Does not complain or worry or fuss over it but just states it as a fact.  He is still just as good as can be and plays and pretends and talks quite a little.  Yesterday he had one hand on my throat and one on his own and we were talking or rather I was making sounds that I wanted him to imitate and he told me “Noise goes right down there” feeling of his throat then of mine.  His life is too full of other things just yet for him to want to get bothered much yet.
[Dr. Winthrop S. Chapman]
[When he says Tad holds himself together when they carry them it makes me realize how very sick and very weak Tad was. Just think how a child who is awake holds himself and how different it is to hold a child who is asleep. - JB]

Sunday, July 18, 2010

August 1919 Letters Found

When I was trying to figure out where I left off so that I could recreate the broken links I found letters that I had previously transcribed. I have decided that I will transcribe letters even if I scan them and post the images so that if the link breaks it will be easier to recreate the link, I find this letter interesting because it shows my grandparents beginning to hope again even though Tad was still so weak he hardly could stand on his own. - Jane

August 13th 1919

Dear Mother,
Speaking about how slow a process it will be to teach Tad just listen to this and then think how fast a process it will be.  When he got home [from the hospital?] Jess had two things taught to him, one was by placing his hand on her face and then smiling he got it and would smile back.  And when he had his cracker or bread all eaten up and wished to signify that it was all gone he would show his hands empty palms out, so Jess to show him that there was no more to give him would hold his hands up then place hers against his palm to palm.  He got it, and would then quit asking.  Since he got home we have gotten him to imitate us in several ways.  In feeding himself he would take his own spoon and fill it and then I would get it shipshape and to indicate to him that it was ready I would tap twice on his spoon.  He would wait until I tapped twice after he got the idea.  The other day he was playing with his pennies and started to count 1,2,3,4,8,16,18, etc.  I got him to count them into my hand then I counted them back into his hand placing our cheeks close together.  I would count then he would count.  He knew what I was saying and thot [sic] it great sport. 

Yesterday he was singing at the top of his voice and all of a sudden told his mother “You say ‘Don’t make so much noise”  Jess placed his hand to her cheek and said it but that was not satisfactory so he pulled her face down next to his, and she said it,  he said “All right” and laughed and thot that a good one.  They did that back and forth a good half dozen times until he was tired.  He fully understood what she said.

Today while he was siting on my lap all of a sudden he placed his hand on his throat and started to say “You-  then repeated “You” over a couple times then of his own accord he placed his hand on my throat and I said “you” and he would place his hand from his throat while he said it to my throat while I said it.  He understood that we were both saying the same word and that it was “You”.  By the time he is able to walk he will not only be ready for teaching but will have a good start. He is a happy little boy and just as patient and good as can be.  Only once in a while he gets night and day mixed and then we have our troubles.  I tell you what our policy of always being on the job and giving him what he asked for and or  [illegible].  He has got the idea and is ready to be given various articles and taught their name.  He is still to weak to want to bother much or long at a time. 

What we need now is to know the proper way to hold our hands or his hands to our throat(s).  Also our own speak [sic] must be developed so that the lip, nasal, and throat sounds are accentuated. 
And darned if Tad is not all ready for it.

He sits up in the chair and holds his head better, and yesterday he turned over on the bed and tried to get up on his hands and knees but could hardly make it.  And now when I lift him he tries to put a little push into his legs.

Yesterday I gave him a toy areoplane [sic] a tin one about 5 inches across.  Now he has never seen such a toy and the only Arieoplanes [sic] he has ever seen have been those of the Flying circus, but after he had felt that one over he asked “How do Areoplane [sic] go?”  I never had the least idea that he would know what it was. 

His brains are working.

He knows that he is home.  Knows his toys and is thoroughly enjoying himself.  Tho some days wants a good deal of attention, otherwise he seems contented and happy.

This morning he told me “I cant see”
 [Dr. Winthrop S Chapman]