Monday, September 11, 2006

A real boy?

I seem to have missed something because for some reason I do not see my little baby anywhere. Instead I have this real boy. What happened? He wears jeans and sneakers (Vans to be exact, for any fellow long lost punk rock skater girls out there - Baby Vans!) And he eats cookies with me and decides he gets to hold both of our cookies and give me bites when I ask. I guess he's willing to share as long as he is in control.

Sam was so hard as an infant, so constantly colicky and fussy. We would see other couples with their babies doing normal things with them and just wonder if we would ever get to drive in the car again without him screaming the whole entire time. Would we ever eat breakfast at a diner like all the families we saw during my pregnancy? Would we ever have a baby that would take a nap in a stroller? For that matter, would we ever be able to use the stroller without him screaming the whole time? He was rough. And as we got through each little improvement we would say to each other, "Wow, it's like we have a real boy." We even had a friend say it once to us when we went out to eat breakfast for the first time. He said, "Wow, he's like a normal baby now," as Sam sat in his carseat and looked up at the ceiling fan. We didn't get through that meal but at least we'd made it to the restaurant and ordered.

And now he's a real boy in almost every respect. I won't mention his sleep problems here since we are still at a standstill with that. And...well...he's not talking. I've tried not to obsess, and I know there is not a real "normal," but he's now 16 months old. He has no words, none, none that we can tie to an actual meaning. He babbles all the time, he knows exactly what we are saying to him, and he is very good at getting his point across, but not with words. We have our 15 month check up Wednesday. I know, bad mommy. We're a month late because I wanted to be on our new insurance plan so that we could have the appointment with the person who would be his new pediatrician. Then the insurance kicked in later than I'd expected blah blah blah. The appointment is Wednesday. And I'm worried. We'll be meeting with his new doctor and I have no idea how to prepare myself for an appointment in which I am bringing in a totally non-verbal 16 month old. I have avoided doing research on what the range is for the age at which children can begin speaking because I wanted to give him time and trust that he would get there on his own, but now I am afraid we are long past the time where it was ok. I'm afraid there is something wrong and I have been in denial.

The thing is, I don't really feel like he is behind or anything. We are communicating and he seems to be developing so well in every other way. I'm just shocked that he's not talking yet. And being at playgroups where other kids his age have tons of words and I sit there and watch them learn new words right then and there...that's killer. And of course whenever anyone finds out he's not speaking they ask what his doctor says and I have no answer because I'm the negligent mom who hasn't taken her kid to the doctor since leaving Chicago 4 months ago. But by the way, "What does his doctor say?" is not actually a comforting response when engaged in a discussion about a concern of a parent. Well, maybe it would be if the doctor had been consulted and said everything was fine, but in that case we wouldn't be having the discussion because it wouldn't be a concern!

He's not talking. And I want to hear him. I feel like he has so much to say and I can see that's he's starting to get frustrated as his ideas become more complex, making it harder to get his meaning across. I'd like to hear one "mama" that actually refers to me, one exclamation of a word other than "eeeeh" when he excitedly points at something. I just want to know he's ok.


Blogger Lei said...

oh, rest easy mom! there is no need for alarm yet!

and he is such a cutie pie!!!

10:10 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

One of my best friends has a boy who didn't utter a single word until after he was two. And at that point, he'd only say sound effects. He didn't start using other words until two and a half.

Now he's four and you can't shut him up. He can explain to you, in far too much detail, exactly what a volcano is and how eruptions happen.

I'm sure he'll start talking soon. Until then, you can just tell people he's the strong, silent type. :)

10:18 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Hey, I had the same infant! It was/is hard to see 'normal' babies and not wonder what that would be like.
How about sign language? My niece didn't talk until she was older than Sam is, but she could sign several words to help her communicate.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous JD said...

No words no stress. We did baby signs which kept our now two and a half year old mute forever. He is brilliant and can talk really well now. But really has been only chatting in full sentences for about five months now. It is like he had the volume turned down and has turned it up quite well for himself.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Mama D said...

I can't say it any better than those above me. I really don't think there is any reason to worry. You have a happy, healthy, smart, REAL BOY!

He is getting so big!! And yes I was one of the "punk rock skater girls" you were referring to.

Big Hug to you.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Kelli in the Mirror said...

You're not negligent for not taking him to the doctor between checkups. They make you go so often anyway. The talking won't be an issue for awhile. :) Don't stress.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Allie said...

Beth - My son is only just starting to speak at 2. I remember taking him in for his 18 month check up and my doctor was concerned so she referred him to a pediatrician. We went to the pediatrician and she was convinced that my son was deaf (which I knew for a fact he wasn't because he level of comprehension was/is amazing) and I left that appointment feeling completely depressed. I was devastated because I felt that everything was okay with my son.

Feeling like the bad mommy, I would brush off the referral booking for a speech therapist because deep down I knew that all was okay with him. Well sure enough, literally in the past two weeks, my son has come up with all of these words and is now my little parrot. My husband and I are amazed at how much he is saying now - even putting 2 - 3 word sentences together.

There is an old saying that boys will talk later than girls. After what we have been through and everyone questioning us about our son, I almost believe that saying it true.

Don't forget - you as Sam's mommy know him best. If you feel that there is no need to worry at this point, then take comfort in knowing that your inner mommy voice is directing you to take no action.

You are a good mommy Beth. If you are ever in doubt, go back and read through your posts because it is clearly evident in your writing just how much your son means to you!!

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Poopydigs said...

I have a babbling 11 month old, so I can't relate just yet. However, I'm sure everything is fine. He looks like a happy, healthy, and thriving baby boy.

11:52 AM  
Blogger sari said...

My second son had colic as's tough, isn't it?

And I don't think he really started talking until he was about two either. And now...he won't shut up! Literally, he can talk all day long. He will talk if you're standing there, he will talk if you walk away, he will talk to things that don't talk back. He will talk to his toys.

Don't worry.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Rachelle said...

Camden is close in age to Sam and doesn't say much either. He probably had 5 words that are clear and most of those have developed recently (the last week or two). Cam is almost 17 months. I worry when I hear people talking about their child the same age who has 50 words or more, but each child is different. I look at myself. I didn't talk until I was three. In fact, the doctors thought I was deaf, but my mom knew better. Once I started speaking, I went into full sentences. Each child develops at their own rate. I think as long as you are exposing a child to language - speaking to them, describing things, reading, etc, they will turn out fine. Definitely mention it to the dr, but don't stress about it too much.

I also second (or third) baby sign. We've been doing sign with Cam for several months now. He signs milk, eat, more, and a few others. It really helps him communicate. He loves sign!

Hugs to you! Being a mom is so hard and stressful. I was worrying about Cam's language skills just last week. You're not alone!

1:11 PM  
Blogger Nikkie said...

I wouldn't worry too much. All kids develop in their own time. Before you know it he'll be backtalking you and you'll miss the days when he couldn't even talk!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Goslyn said...

Hey, try not to worry to much. Your son may not have ORAL language, but if he understands and responds to you, he's completely in line with where he should be verbally.

My 13 month old has NO words at all, but we've taught him a few baby signs, and he can communicate very effectively with those. I know he's smart. I know your son is smart. He may just not be ready to talk yet.

Anyhow, my son knows the signs for "eat," "drink," "milk," "more," "please," "Up," "Dog," and "all done". It has been a huge sanity saver for us.

We just checked a book out of the library.

Good luck, and I hope the Drs appointment goes well.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Have you been reading my diaries, lady?

Chicky Baby was also very colicky so I know exactly where you're coming from. She's also, at just about 17 months, not a big talker. She has a few (and by few I mean, like, 4) words and a couple of signs and she babbles like crazy, but she has no where near the vocabulary of the other kids around her age that we encounter in our playgroup.

Bottom line, you're not alone. Apparently, you have the male version to my daughter. Right down to he blonde hair and blue eyes. Spooky! But pretty soon they'll both be talking up a storm and we'll wish they'd shut up. ;)

1:48 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

my 2 1/2 year old has only about 15 words - i know what you mean about dying to hear his voice and what he thinks and feels and wants. we were there too when he was 18 months. we got a referral to the speech path people too, and will have an appointment soon. hang in there.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

If you're seeing the dr, just keep an open mind to the fact that all kids develop differently, as you can read here. And being a slow starter doesn't mean he won't be a proficient talker later on.

And he DOES look like a " little boy" now! :(

6:26 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

My little man wasn't talking until 18 months. Then it was just a few words, "Bye, no, mama, dada." But then a few months later...WHAM...language explosion. Hopefully Sam will do the same.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous abc momma said...

Every kid is different in their development. He'll get it, and when he does, it will be in complete sentences with excellent grammar.

7:35 PM  
Blogger allysha said...

My little bro. didn't talk until he was about three. But he hit the ground running, and is a bright kid. My neighbor down the street worked with a speech therapist with her little boy (he was about the same age as Sam) and he did great and she loved it. It was a really positive experience for both of them.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

You are such a good mom to worry so much and want to know what he's thinking. I am already feeling like Liam wants to tell me stuff, but can't. The "ba's" and grunts are meaningful to him... I wish they meant stuff to me besides just cute sounds.

These photos are so awesome! She is a perfect little man! Loving those shoes!

12:18 AM  
Blogger scraphappymama said...

Follow your instinct. I think Sam is fine. I remember worrying about my dd and the doctor asking if she understood me/followed commands, etc. She could. He said, "Oh, then she's fine."

Russell is almost 17 months old. He has few words (mama, dada, hi, bye, this, and ball). At his 15 month checkup (I took him at 16 months LOL) the nurse asked if he had 10 words. Nope. Then she told me that at the 18 month check up they ask if he has 25-50 words. Yah . . that's not going to happen. But, I am not worried a bit.

Kids take time to develop. Some are quick verbal developers, others develop their physical skills faster. To each their own. Don't stress, just keep being a great mom. (btw - you already are!!!)

3:34 PM  
Blogger The Constant Gardener said...

Welcome to motherhood, where worries never cease. It's exhausting. Keep your chin up and keep doing what your doing. He won't be this age forever.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Beth you are such a great mom! I know that just from reading your blog. I am with all the other moms who have said he WILL probably talk when he's ready.

1:22 PM  

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