Miles is going to be 20 months at the end of this month, which is just a little over a year and a half to all those without mom-brain-mad-math-skills. And according to all of the parenting websites, and mommy-blogs, and all of Miles’ friends who are right around his age, Miles should be saying a whole lot more than the two (yup, only 2) words he is currently saying. (Bath and Quack Quack, incase you are curious.) Everyone I know, and I mean everyone, is telling me not to sweat it. And I’m trying, I really am. But that is a whole lot easier said than done. And it would be a whole lot easier done if Miles didn’t feel the need to claw at my face or try to bite me every time he gets frustrated and doesn’t have a way to communicate other than acting out.
Because of all the biting and scratching and pinching, our pediatrician did suggest a speech evaluation. A very nice Speech Pathologist met with us for a couple of hours observing Miles and asking my husband and me a million questions. She determined that while he is delayed, it’s nothing to be concerned about yet. He is trying to communicate in his own way (pointing, yelling, grunting). And he does have his own language that he speaks all day long. She gave us a few suggestions – to try not to force him to say words (whoops, that’s a hard one), model speaking in his voice when he should be saying something, and to use a lot of repetition.
While he only says two words now, I know that he can say more. He started off saying “dada”, “momma”, “pappa”, “book”, he even said “turtle” once! He was signing “more” ages ago. But suddenly he is refusing to say anything but his own baby talk, which he will babble on and on with forever. And while he is babbling, if I am not paying attention he will grab my face and make me listen! My theory is that he knows how to say words, but he’s refusing to talk until he can do so in full sentences. I’m really holding out hope for that one! Because in the meantime, when Miles wants juice he walks over to refrigerator and starts yelling. And when he drops a toy in the bathtub and he wants me to pick it up for him, he starts yelling. And when he doesn’t want the dog to bother him he starts yelling. And then bites the dog.
But the crazy thing is, I’m beginning to pick up on the subtle differences in each yell, and I think I’ve finally cracked the code! What do you think??
Some of these might be more accurate than others. And I clearly backed Miles into a corner by putting that headband on him! But I think I’m getting pretty good at this. My goal is to continue to guess what he wants and hope I get it right, repeat it back to him three times so he knows what words he should be using, and try not to be pushy. Hopefully, if I’m lucky, he’ll be threatening to throw things at me with his own words soon enough!
As funny as I find all of those pictures — when your child is behind in any development it can be scary. But it’s usually best to just let nature take it’s course. Miles will talk eventually, whether I stress out over it or not. As I’ve been told a million times by well meaning friends and family – even Einstein didn’t talk until he was 3! Is that even true? Let’s just go with it!