I had to babysit my usual munchkins last night, and as much as Kelsie still doesn’t like to talk, I did teach her how to say my name. Melina came over to bring me some dinner and to hang out for a bit, and she tried getting Kelsie to talk, but it was just… She was there for maybe two minutes and she looked up at me with Kelsie sitting in front of her and said, “Does Kelsie talk?” in this alarmed tone, and I immediately felt so defensive. Kelsie talks. She talks more me to me than to Melina, actually, and I think it’s probably because she knows me better. The defensiveness, though: it was less about proving that Kelsie talks and more about defending Keslie’s right not to talk? It’s stupid, maybe; of course it’s not wrong to want a kid to be able to talk, because if you’re surrounded by people who don’t speak your language, eventually you get frustrated. Kelsie would get frustrated. But Kelsie knows some ASL, and she’s smart. If you ask her a question, she can say yes or no. When they watch television, Kelsie likes to point out the proper answers to questions and responds to all of the little prompts; she sings the songs, does the dances. She likes puzzles and building blocks. She’s quieter than her sister even in demeanor: she plays more by herself, she listens quietly, she lets Brylie take over a lot of the time. If I tell Kelsie to do something, if I tell her that she isn’t to hit her sister and ought to ask nicely for things she wants from her, she does it. I don’t know; I don’t know a lot about child development or being a parent, but I can’t imagine that as a parent I would want any stranger or neighbor or friend worrying so much about my child that they felt the need to try repeatedly to get them to demonstrate “normal” behavior, and after failing to succeed, to then tell me that, “they like Brylie better” and “maybe Kelsie has Aspergers.” Maybe she does have Aspergers. Maybe she has seventeen toes and three extra eyes on the back of her head. She’s still a wonderful kid, and if pressed to pick favorites, I like her best, and I’m certainly not going to be another person making her feel weird or wrong for being quiet. She is how she is, and she functions just fine.