In my short time as a parent I’ve learnt pretty fast that there is always something about your children that you worry about. All those things that keep you from sleeping even when the babies eventually do!! Whether it be their non-existent sleep patterns, the lack of variety in their diet, the amount of times they have poo’d or not poo’d and then the constant worry that they are not hitting their milestones. With G force our hot topic and concern has been about her speech (or lack of speech). I know it sounds nuts, speech delay from us two as mothers. You’d think we would have a little chatterbox with how much we talk. We don’t shut up and so does she but it’s definitely her own language. Maybe she can’t get a word in edgeways? I even had the worry that maybe it was our accent. Maybe she couldn’t understand what we were saying compared to all the southerners but haway wa divint actually speak another language like man!!
Nursery mentioned that she didn’t babble that much when she was around 18 months but the health visitor wasn’t too concerned and said we should just keep an eye on it. When she turned 2 we were referred to the speech and language therapy who assessed her speech and suggested she was a few months behind and we started weekly sessions to build on her speech. Thankfully they didn’t think there was anything to be worried about but that doesn’t stop you worrying. The only thing that would stop us from worrying would be for G force to stand up and recite a poem or sing a song.
As with every single aspect of parenting there are plenty of people offering advice. I know they’re trying to be nice and make you feel better but it doesn’t always work like that. You’ll get the ‘it’ll happen when she’s ready’. Well G force does everything only when she is ready. She’s as stubborn as I am so if she feels one bit coerced she will shut it down just to prove a point….she is in control. I know this now although some days I still like to think I am in control!
The funniest i’ve had was when I was complimenting how their child speaks so well compared to G force ‘I’ve been talking to them since they were tiny’. Shit! There it is… PANG! Guilt! This is where it’s all been going wrong. Why didn’t I think of talking to my little girl since she was born?? Because for over two years I’ve not said a word to her!!! So of course this is ludicrous but still a little part of me thinks maybe I haven’t spoken ENOUGH to her.
Then there’s the ones who supposedly they know someone who knows someone who’s great neice twice removed never spoke a word and then spoke full sentences over night. BAM! Yep I’m sure that’s exactly what happened (cue giant eye roll).
Anyway, for now, I’m not in too much of a panic as there is a guy at work who said he never spoke a word until he was 5. He never shuts up – He could talk a glass eye to sleep – so that is my benchmark that she will be ok. 2 and a bit years to go.
At the weekly sessions we were to report back any new words that G force has. So I was elated to let them know this week she had a fair few words. Although I felt pure shame when those were McDonald’s and ice cream!! So she may not be able to say her name or hello but at least she has the important stuff sorted. I now have to drive a different way home as if I pass the golden arches she goes nuts if we don’t go in! 2 years old and she certainly knows her own mind!
Always there is this parenthood guilt lingering around. The ‘it must be me’. ‘I’m not doing enough’. ‘I’m not giving her enough speaking opportunities’. ‘I’m letting her watch too much telly’. Then I think of people who have kids who perhaps frequent on shows like Jeremy Kyle. I’m bloody sure they’re not whipping out the flashcards at every opportunity trying to get their darling offspring to say the word dog or cat or something simple like xylophone. WTF! Yes that’s an easy one for them to learn. Anyway everyone knows (well our toddler) that flashcards have been made to stand on and skid around the floor like what L used to do on records with her folks on a Saturday night. That’s how they kept the kids amused back in the 80s!
Maybe I wouldn’t feel so driven to get this speech nailed if I didn’t think it was the key to solve all of the toddler tantrums. Ok so yes I am laughing a bit inside thinking that as soon as the sentences appear of course she will become this wholly reasonable pint sized person. Stop laughing! It could just happen. So there is a lot riding on this.
So when I say ‘No! G force you can’t have the barbie magazine!’ whilst making a dash for the checkout in the local COOP she will look at me and say ‘why mummy?’ and I will calmly and pleasently explain that they are a complete waste of money, that the toys on them are a load of crap and our house looks like toys r us threw up in it. She will reply ‘yes mummy you are so right. I completely agree’ whilst reaching for my hand and we skip out of the shop. The complete opposite to last month when I had to take to Facebook to thank the checkout lady for peeling said toddler off the floor by the checkout whilst she was having an epic toddler tantrum and carrying her to the car for me. It was like bundling a kidnappee into the back of a van on an espionage film minus the black hood and gaffer tape….Although thinking about it they may come in handy some time…until the sentences come anyway!!!
For now we will continue to communicate with single words and G forces little language. Its not that difficult to translate really, I understood completely what vomiting sounds and ‘yacky yacky yacky’ means when I show her my homemade cuisine for dinner. Thanks G Force so glad I slaved over the cooker for you tonight. Luckily, little Augustus Gloop ducklips likes a second helping of my food…or I should say any food. She’s really not that fussy at all!