Saturday, December 8, 2012

Parenting Fail #58

Why number 58? I'm being generous with myself and estimating one parenting fail per week since the birth of my son.

Now is the following really a parenting fail? No. I honestly KNOW it isn't, but it FEELS like it is, and it is driving me bat shit crazy. Animal is 13.5 months, and he only says two words. Of those two words he only uses one correctly.

He says Mom, but not TO me, just "mom-mom-mom-mom" as he cries waiting to be picked up in the morning or randomly throughout the day. No, the word he uses in the correct context, is "No".

So my son can only say one word. The word he uses apparently reflects the fact that we don't let him do anything (because we have done little to no baby proofing besides putting outlet covers in all the outlets). 

I work with 2 year olds and have done so for many, MANY years. If a mom came into my class and was concerned in September that their child only said no, but had no apparent hearing problem, understood what was being said and babbled I would reassure them that in a matter of weeks or months of preschool their child would be speaking. Kids always catch up, always. Even if there IS a language/development problem they will attain some language skills just by being in a class with their peers and being exposed to age appropriate curriculum. I KNOW this to be true and it happens EVERY YEAR in my class with at least one child. 

Animal is only 13 months, he is growing up in a bilingual home and studies show that children exposed to more than one language speak later than their peers. It doesn't make me feel better. We all talk to him, all day long, everyday. I sing to him. My mom and hubby play all kinds of music for him. We narrate the day. Point things out and name them. I read to him. We all ask him to repeat or imitate us. The hubby and I imitate the sounds he makes. He doesn't try to copy the sounds we make. I have been doing baby sign with him since he was 5 months old. He has never signed back. 

I KNOW children develop at their own rate and Animal as strong as he is, as alert and curious as he has been since the moment he came into this world, has taken his time with everything. Not necessarily slow, but never really ahead. Except at holding his head up, he was able to that always (of course not for long at first) everything has more or less been right  in the middle to just before the "don't worry if your kids not doing it yet, some kids take longer" deadline. 

I have taken them all as parenting fails. 

The weird part is KNOWING what I, an early childhood educator, would say to a mom in this situation. 

The strange thing is knowing from real life experience and the many, many children who have been under my care, that all indicators say everything is fine. 

Animal understands the instructions we give, whether they are in English or Spanish. He makes new sounds when he babbles, all the time. There is infliction in his babbling to us. He is so verbal, it's just we don't know what he's saying. 

He never signs back, but if he's being fussy after a meal and I sign "more", he stops being fussy and smiles or opens his mouth waiting for the food. 

If he's mad because I'm changing his diaper and I sign "all done" he puts his hands up waiting for mine so he can pull himself up.

The parenting fail here isn't that Animal doesn't have more words yet. It's that I can't get past my own wants and desires for him (to often lately) to just enjoy the toddler he is right now. 








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15 comments:

  1. Tiny Bard didn't talk until he was three years old. We had his hearing testing, he was even tested for Autism.

    He's 11 now and still in speech therapy, but he's very bright and his written word is well beyond his years.

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    1. That's reassuring. Being a parent is so tough. Knowing when to step in and when to relax, feels impossible.

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    2. We were very scared and worried for years. Turns out, his jaw muscles aren't developed correctly because he was a preemie.

      Tiny Artist is in speech therapy, too. I guess because he talks like his big brother.

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    3. Did Tiny Artist start speech sooner? I was thinking if I didn't see progress once he's been in preschool a few months, I might push for testing. The sooner they start the better for them. I know at this point this is more likely my problem not his, but what if it's my mommy intuition?

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  2. Yes, he started babbling at 9 months old. He says a lot of words "incorrectly" because he spends the most time with his brother and that is what he hears.

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  3. I wish there was something I could say to reassure you. This will probably happen again. You'll freak out because some other kid you know can read when they're 3, and you KNOW that's not normal, but you'll kick yourself because Animal can't... Then he will, and you'll feel silly. They always tell you not to compare, but you can't help it... He's got a great mom. I know he'll be fine.

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    1. Thanx. I really appreciate that.

      It's so strange being on the other side of the "give it time".

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  4. I used to be a teacher, too, and I do this all the time. We know in our own logical educated minds that are kids are normal, but we freak out anyway because they are our kids. I compare all of my boys to each other, too - "This one was doing this, why isn't he?" They are all different, but it's hard not to worry. You're doing great, mama!

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    1. Thanks, it's great to know I'm not the only one!

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  5. TCC says basically no words in a uni-lingual house. So there's that... Ha.

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    1. I would tell you to give it time and not to worry, but now I know it doesn't matter how many times you hear it! But it is the truth, damn logic

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  6. Well, he's got my 18-month-old beat in that mine doesn't use "No" correctly. No/yes/whatever is all "No". :) He'll get there, sounds like he's just thinking first.

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  7. I just wanted to let you know that you are right. Every kid is different and develops on their OWN schedule, not what is considered normal. My son did not even say NO until he was 15 months old. I took him to all kinds of doctors who said nothing was wrong with him. When he started talking, he spoke an entire sentence and hasn't stopped since. He's 7 and not in any kind of therapy, none was needed. Don't worry! Like Katy said, he's probably just thinking first.

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