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Monday, January 31, 2011

Speak no Evil..

If someone told you that their 14 month old wasn't talking yet, not even "mama", "dada", or even "no", what would your thoughts be?? I'm not asking what you would say to the mother, but what your thoughts would be?

Would you be the type to think that every baby is different, and does things at different speeds? Would you think that something was definitely wrong, or would you wonder if it was normal but not really judge either way??
I know that a lot of us would like to think that we would pick option A.  We would think that every baby is different, and that it's not a big deal. Realistically though, I think that a lot of us would wonder if something was wrong.

Before I had children, I definitely would have gasped, wondered what was wrong. 14 months, and the child wasn't even saying mama yet? Honestly, probably even after having Gracie, I would have thought the same way. She was babbling away at about 6 months.
That was when I was ignorant!
That was before I knew that every child is so different, and that there are so many factors that may effect different milestones in a child's life.

That was before I had a 14 month old who doesn't talk! (did you just gasp??!! You better not have!!) lol

It's a funny thing, every time I tell someone that she doesn't talk, and even as I type it, I feel like I have to continue to justify it with an explanation. That I should find a way to get that wide eyed terror look off of people's faces! I feel like I have to explain that she understands every word I say, and that she can actually say "uh oh!" and that if I try hard enough I can get her to say "ma ma ma ma and da da da da". I feel like I have to justify it by saying that she has walked since before she was 12 months old, and she can point to her nose, her belly and that she can pretend to wash her hair when I tell her too.. That she can scale baby gates and feed my dog. I feel like I have to explain that Gracie talks for her and she really has no need to talk yet. I can justify it all I want, but at the end of the day, my 14 month old still doesn't talk. I shouldn't have to justify it, I shouldn't feel like people "need" an explanation.. But I do! Why??

Probably because I hate feeling like "your kid is better than my kid". I hate the thought that my child might be "behind" a little bit. Why? Because society haunts us with these ideas that our kids have to be perfect. Because, lets face it, mommy's compare their kids to other kids their age. It's horrible, yet we do it. We ALL do it! (Don't deny it!) We may not be doing it in a "mean" way, but we do it!

Gracie was over 15 months old when she started walking. I don't think she really even crawled until she was over a year. She used to sort of slither across the floor,, pull herself around with her arms. Like an army crawl. I realize now, she was just very content with sitting on the floor and playing.. She was lazy! She had no reason to get up and walk around. At the time, I struggled with the fact that all of the other kids her age, and some that were younger were running circles around her.
I hear comments all the time, people saying things like "I heard of this one kid that didn't walk until they were like 15 months old. I hope my child isn't like that!"
Yes, it's an ignorant thing to say, but it's reality. People say these things, people think these things, and that is  why we feel the need to defend what our child "isn't" doing?
I always speak up and tell people that Gracie didn't walk until almost 16 months, and that she is now no different than any other 3 year old. Usually at that point, peoples faces go read and their heads drop.

If only people thought before they spoke!
As nice as that would be, this is something that isn't likely to change. I'm sure all of us are guilty of speaking before we think, especially when it comes to our children, and gloating around other parents about what they are doing!

Every child progresses, develops, matures and grows at different paces. They aren't all going to follow the "book".. I guess it's time that we stop expecting them to, and time to stop feeling like we have to defend them if they aren't right up to the speed of everyone else.
Like one of my friends moms says, "by the time they get to college, they'll all be walking, talking, and potty trained!"
I think that is what we have to stop and remember. That, as well as the fact that it's really no one else's concern what our children are or are not doing.

Someones child is going to be the first to roll over, to sit up, to eat solids. The first to crawl, to walk, to talk, to be potty trained, to learn their alphabet and to tie their shoes. There will be the first to learn all of their shapes and numbers. There will also be the last one to do all of these things!
Maybe just maybe the kid who talks last, will be the first to tie her shoes. Maybe she'll be the first to say her alphabet and get chosen to speak in front of the class. We just don't know!
And really... at the end of the day, does it matter??

The old saying goes "Be careful what you wish for!", I'm sure in another month or two, I will be on here asking you ladies how to make an 18 month old stop talking. I remember when Gracie started walking, the only thing that I wanted was for her to sit down!
For now though, I'll probably continue to worry that my 14 month old doesn't talk.

That's normal, isn't it?!!
Have any of you been the mother of the "kid who doesn't talk"? (or walk, or sit up, or crawl etc......)

Have a great night ladies! Talk to you all tomorrow!


Victoria said...

Alright, I am not sure how you do it, but you are always right on with what I am thinking! So yesturday my middle son (who is in JK) brought home his reading program books. We sat down to read them, and he shocked me, HE READ THEM!! I nearly fell of the couch! I have never even asked him to read before! Awesome, but then I start worrying. My oldest (in Gr.1) struggles everyday with reading writting and letters, What did I do wrong with him? I spent the night reliving the last 7 years with him trying to figure out what I forgot to do with him! Then I read this, your right, all our kids are SO different,and sometimes we just forget it. Perhaps my oldest will be a great hockey player, and the middle will be the kid that gives speaches?? THANK YOU!!

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are for some reason people (and I mean people who aren't the mommies and daddies) can't wait for our children to grow up fast enough...from the time they are born - it's did they roll over? do they sit up? do they smile? do they have teeth? hair? are they walking? are they still on the bottle (which gasp my child is at 2 - whoops!) do they still have their soother? are they potty trained? And I do get it - people are interested but sometimes I think man they are just babies, let's just let them be and not rush EVERYTHING. Of course I hope that my children are meeting their milestones but am I going to worry that at 8 months Landon isn't crawling but my cousin's son who is a few weeks younger is? Nope I'm not. I think that if Lylah were your first born then maybe she would be talking by now (and I'm NOT saying because you'd have more time/interaction with her) what I'm trying to say is that she wouldn't be contending with her older sister. I think that with an older sibling the younger ones probably tend to hold back and maybe not in all cases but I would probably say in the most I know. My friend has two little girls 21 months apart and for sure the littler one is more shy and still clings to her mom when other people are around and definitely doesn't say as much. Anyway, I'm never sure if what I'm trying to say makes sense but I wouldn't worry...she'll be yappin' your ear off before you know it (and hogging the phone! lol)

Sarah said...

That is so true Heather!! It seems to be other people that like to point out that Lylah isn't speaking yet. I get the "ohhhh?? She doesn't say mama yet?" or..... I've even gotten "she seems younger, does she talk?" Again,ignorance, I know, but people now a days think that they should be riding bikes by the age of 1.
I have to agree that the second child very often is behind with talking. I know it's okay, but I don't think that I would be human if I didn't worry just a little bit.
Vicki,, i'm so glad that I was on the same page as you again today. Don't even think twice about the boys.. They for sure will be at different levels forever. I wonder which one will have a girlfriend first??!! lol

Angela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela said...

Actually, before I had a baby I don't think I could have told you the difference between a 6 month old and a 10 month old! LOL! So right now I am just learning as I go. But I have to say that I do sometimes compare my baby to other babies.....not that I am judging what other babies are or are not doing. (At least I hope I'm not!) I'm mostly concerned about my baby, trying to figure this all out. Is she doing what other babies are doing? But I totally agree that all babies are different. You can see that just by attending any mommy and baby group. My issue has been weight gain with my daughter. She has always been a bit low. And so I worry if I see another 7 month old who is weighing a lot more than she is. (Usually the case.) I can't help but wonder if it is something I am doing wrong! We can't help but think it is going to be a reflection of us as a mother!! But like you said, I think it is normal to worry a bit. (Or a lot, as the case may be!!) Really, we are all just doing the best that we can and eventually they will be just like any other kids their age. And in the meantime, maybe we SHOULD stop wishing this precious time away.....eventually we are probably going to want them to be our little babies again :)

Sarah said...

You're right Angela! It is totally us doing it to ourselves,, comparing our poor children to other kids/babies because we don't want them to be "behind" or what not.
There are those moms though (if you haven't come across them yet) that will point out or make of what AMAZING milestones there kids have reached!!
AS for your little girls weight!! Been there, done that!! LOL (we seem to have lots in common)
My little Lylah is the tiniest little peanut ever!! She is in the 10th percentile for her age. At her one year check up, she was only 18lbs. Many of my friends have 6 month olds that weight that!! My doctor told me that as long as she is following her own charts properly, that is all you have to worry about. I don't know you, but I was also told that since I am tiny (build wise, not weight), I have less to worry about because she is probably just taking after me. Try not to worry about it.. she'll be just fine.

Angela said...

Thank you Sarah! My doctor never tells me about percentiles, I don't know why! (I think at my next appointment I am going to make sure I ASK him.) But at our 6 month check up she was 13.13 lbs. We are going back at 8 months to check on her weight again. I would say that my build has always been pretty average. And judging by how much weight I gained in my pregnancy I thought I was going to have a huge chunky baby! Good to know I am not the only one. But like you said, I'm sure this is all normal too!! I worried about it a lot in the beginning, but try not to as much anymore!

Anonymous said...

Angela & Sarah - I'm on the other end of the spectrum - my little big guy broke the scale at 10 lbs at birth and now is over 20 pounds at 8 months! lol But I worry about the size of his head (it's huge although the doctor said it wasn't but what does she know??!! ha) and he is "off the charts" for his height! So here I am worrying that he'll be a monster!

Sarah said...

10lbs at birth = OUCH!!! LOL!! I don't think that my girls were 10lbs until they were around 4 months. Just goes to show you how different they all are, and that no matter what end of the scale they are at, we'll still worry about.
I think that if there was something to worry about with his head, the doctor would let you know. There are actually tests that they will do if it is too large..
Boys are supposed to be big too!! I'm always shocked when I all of my girlfriend's little (big) guys next to my little peanuts.. I think boys are naturally bigger. He'll slow down later!

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