Yeah, so, at two years old, The Boy is still not a talker.
He babbles. He babbles a lot. He babbles nonstop. And there are a few words here and there in all that babbling, but he’s not a talker. He says, “mama” or “mom,” but usually when he is mad. I’ve heard him say “diaper,” “Elmo,” “dog,” stuff like that, but he doesn’t say it consistently. He says things in Spanish sometimes. We’ve heard “hola” and an attempt to say “buenos dias.” He sometimes points out colors and names them in Spanish. He doesn’t ask for milk. He takes my hand and walks me into the kitchen and points and babbles. If he wants to watch Elmo, he babbles something and hands us an Elmo DVD. He’s babbling, and he thinks we understand everything he is saying, because he understands everything we’re saying.
At his two-year checkup, we shared with the doctor that The Boy doesn’t say a lot of words. Babbling, yes. Talking? No. She gave us a questionnaire for autism, and he passed that test, meaning he doesn’t have autism. He has an appointment to get his ears checked next week, but I’m pretty sure he hears just fine. You make even the slightest noise like walking by his room while he is napping, and he responds.
The doctor also gave us some paperwork for speech therapy. I’m waiting until after the hearing test to send it in. She feels that Calvin is most likely just a late talker. She recommended pulling The Boy out of nannyshare and putting him in preschool, which I am reluctant to do just yet. In the meantime, it can’t hurt to fill out the paperwork and let the speech therapists decide if Calvin is a candidate for their services, she said.
Ah, yes. Late talkers. The ol’ “he’s a late talker.”
The doctor, along with several friends and family members, said, “He’s a late talker.” Some kids are late talkers. Some people say boys, in particular, are late talkers. Also, he is with a Spanish-speaking nanny all day, and we don’t speak Spanish at all. (I took Spanish in high school, but all I can remember are some colors, numbers, hello and goodbye, and I can ask where the library is, and I ask what time is it. Yay! Public education!) Some child experts say that spending all day with a Spanish-speaking nanny could result in language delay. The doctor said no, but I think she’s wrong. What does she know? She just went to medical school and studied and devoted her life to children’s health, right?
Before the doctor’s appointment, I was worried. Even though I’ve heard all the stories about late talkers. I still worried. Now, I’m not really that worried. I’m curious to get the hearing test results and I would love to hear what the speech therapy folks have to say. But when I look at Calvin I see a really happy, healthy little boy. He’s frustrated sometimes. He’s not being understood, and that’s frustrating for him and for us.
We have friends with kids who are just a few months older than Calvin and some with kids a few months younger than Calvin. Their kids talk. Their kids talk a lot. They say complete sentences. They are super verbal. And when I’m around them, I feel the need to point out that Calvin isn’t talking that much yet, just babbling, but he’s OK. I’m not worried about The Boy’s talking, because I know he will talk, but the truth is I’m jealous.
There. I said it. I’m jealous. I’m totally jealous.
I wish Calvin was more verbal. I want to talk with Calvin so bad. I can’t wait to talk with Calvin! I know it’s going to happen, but we’re not there yet. And then I feel bad, like I did something wrong. Am I not reading to him enough? We talk to him constantly and engage him and play with him. Why does our friend’s daughter who’s the same age say so many words, and our boy doesn’t say any words at all?
I can look at it logically and say, “All kids are different. Duh. Stop being a worrying asshole.” But the part of me that loves to beat myself up about everything says, “Faulty parenting.” I hate that part of me. I wish she would shut the hell up. I wish she only babbled.
I’m sure The Boy will be talking any minute now, and then I will be begging him to shut up. So here’s the part where you guys tell me your stories of late talkers to make me feel better. Go!