Namine has an ear infection again. Unfortunately, she seems prone to them, especially given that she has pool therapy every week. But it’s a necessary thing, seeing as it was pool therapy that has helped her gain flexibility in her knees and strength in her legs. It was also thanks to pool therapy that she now loves the water as much as she does. I suppose we’ll have to get her used to wearing ear plugs or something.

Fortunately, the infection seems localized to only one ear this time, her left. Namine hasn’t complained about it at all, which is also good – but we’re not sure if it actually doesn’t hurt, or if she just hasn’t deemed it worthy of her attention to mention it to us. Usually, she only complains of her legs hurting, sometimes her elbows. She was strangely happy to get ear drops again, and she is more than willing to do as much as she can to help. “Eah dop, thih eah,” she’ll say, rolling over and pushing her hair out of the way. I’ll count the five “eah dops,” and she’ll tell me “All done!” She usually doesn’t even mind the cotton ball in her ear, for a short while. It was not so long ago that she called the cotton balls “ah-on malls,” but now she enunciates the words clearly, forcing out the starting C and B with careful precision.

The double T in the middle of the word “cotton,” Namine stops in the back of her throat, so it’s more like “cah-on” instead of “cotton.” When asked to enunciate more clearly, she will pronounce the T in the middle, but not in normal conversation. I have noticed, after careful observation, that Jessica and I do the same thing. We – and I think this is true of most people – don’t clearly enunciate our words. We kind of slur them together, leaving behind what the word should actually sound like in favor of what is easier, and sometimes faster, to say. I am particularly guilty of using “I’m-a” as a contraction of “I’m gonna,” which in turn is a contraction of “I’m going to.” I’ve always been somewhat picky about grammar, and I’ve been known to irritate my wife over what she considers extremely stupid and nit-picky details. But now, as I’m forced to re-examine my own use of the language, I’m a little horrified at myself. I have, it seems, just as much work ahead of me as Namine does.