I’m dying here! I’m literally dying! No, wait. I meant to use the word “figuratively” when saying that I’m dying.
I’ve written about this before. I’ve talked to a lot of moms about this. I’ve consulted a lot of websites and magazines about this. I’ve followed blogs, tweeted with fellow mothers throughout the world, and they’re all telling me the same darn thing…it will happen when it happens. Unfortunately, that’s becoming unacceptable for me and I need help. I’m afraid I may be putting too much pressure on myself, which is putting too much pressure on my son, which in turn is putting a lot of pressure on our relationship.
Davey just turned 16 months old last week and I consider him to be advanced for his age in just about every arena except for his speech. He started walking at nine months, started identifying animals by 11 months, and right now he’s doing puzzles that a three year old can do. He’s a smart kid and there’s no doubt about that, but I have a fear about the fact that he’s not saying anything other than “mama”, “dada”, and “Dixie”.
A few months back he said the word “duck”, then he said the word “color”, and most recently he said the word “car”, but those moments were fleeting. It’s like he spent a week saying each word and now when you try to prompt him to say the words again, he looks at you like you’re speaking a foreign language.
His hearing his phenomenal, so I’m not worried about that. He comprehends everything. He knows what a heart is, can pick out a giraffe, can point to his colors and even bring you his maracas, but he refuses to say the words. We can even play the game “I Spy” and he’s able to pick out everything I spy. He shakes his head “no” at me, though, when I ask him to say any of these words. Lately, I’ve started having nightmares about the fact that he’s not saying a lot of words.
I’ve started dreaming that other moms are talking about us behind our backs, that they’re making fun of Davey’s development and maybe my perceived lack of devotion. Other days I’m having a sense of anxiety that causes stomach aches. It’s that feeling you have when you’re in school and you’ve waited until the absolute last minute to get that paper done and you worry about if you’ll be able to turn something in or if you’ve waited too long. That’s what I’m feeling like these days.
My pediatrician says it’s perfectly fine where Davey is, but I don’t necessarily agree with that. Am I trying to do my pediatrician’s job? No, but I definitely want to make sure that Davey doesn’t fall behind. I actually have a few friends who claim their child has an advantage over mine because he’s in daycare. I don’t agree with that either. I just don’t really know what to do anymore.
I know a lot of you will tell me to stop putting the pressure on me and Davey. I know a lot of you will tell me that he’ll speak when he’s ready, but for those of you who have been or are teachers, can you give me some advice or assistance as to what I could and should be doing to help encourage his speech? I just want him to stop beating around the bush and speak his mind.