Not A Spoken Word

as seen on www.hybridmom.com

The wail stabs the room like a fireplace poker. My precious two-year-old daughter is crying in frustration that she wants a toy the other child has in their hand. I rush across the playroom that is covered with the scattered playthings from the other kids and parents at the drop-in center. I crouch down and wrap my girl in a hug.  The other mom rushes over to apologize for her son’s behavior. I nod my head that all is okay as I rock my baby in my arms.

I wipe her tears and she races off to find the next adventure. My heart is lodged in my throat, as it has been ever since she was born and has hit her roadblocks in the world. On the dreaded milestone chart at the doctor’s she is above the physical and motor skills checklist. Her comprehension is impeccable. Her only unchecked box on the list is that she does not have the ability to speak her words to communicate to the outside world. She only coherently speaks five words. According to the charts two-year-olds ‘should’ be able to name objects and put words together.

 My mind’s eye reflects back to when my older daughter was two and her verbal excellence was to not only speak, but also monologue.  And like, every time I compare my daughters, I berate myself for doing so. Just like their pregnancies were not the same, they are different kids with different stepping stones.

In nine months I am planning on her attending pre-school. I hesitated because of her lack of speaking. After talking to my doctor and a speech therapist they encouraged me to register her.  The speech therapist told me that big babies (she was born 10 pounds and 13 ounces) with older siblings tend to speak later in life. The big babies at birth focus on one thing at a time. My girl has chosen physical and motor skills to fine tune. Next can be language.

Since she is only two years of age it is a great time to work on activities at home, and at the drop-in center to provide an encouraging environment for her to talk and socialize. My husband and I have read to her since she was in uteros. We read every day with our kids. We, along with our eldest daughter, pronounce things for her with patience.  My husband and I have never talked ‘baby talk’; we use real words in communicating with our children. Both professionals agree that that is a good thing.

My mama instinct is not worried.  What I feel for both my girls is the drive to make sure I am doing everything I can as their mom. For some crazy reason I was picked to be their mom. I question with every breath if I am doing everything I can.  There is a lot of research that proves how crucial the first six years are of a child’s life.  The therapist and my doctor assure me that we are doing everything we can at this time. Some young children just wake up one day and talk and talk and talk.

My girl waddles up to me for a hug. I give her a squeeze and she is off running again.  I know I will miss her very cute babble, and for medical reasons, she is my last child. Maybe that is why I am holding onto her baby ways. Then, guilt pulses through my veins. I wonder if it is partly my fault.  I can’t help grasping at the thought that I am not encouraging her to be more independent.

I see her pushing the play shopping cart around the room, gathering items into the basket. My heart swells. Just like her sister before her, life is going too fast. I know I will look back on today with a smile as to how worrisome I am being. 

The teacher comes over to me and asks if I am ok. I confess to her my fears and worry about my youngest daughter. The teacher has seen her grow up here. She shakes her head and tells me how much she has seen her improve. This observation warms my heart.

I figure I will keep doing, what we have been doing, to be the best parents we can be. It’s what we know.

I will never stop making sure that I am doing everything for my kids to succeed. Mama bear instinct trumps all.

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