LG Recently turned 16 months. Almost a year and a half. I’m not going to go into all of the things she’s doing, or gush about how awesome she is, though, she is pretty awesome.
LG is all of a sudden starting to string together two word sentences. Not a lot, mind you, but it’s there (her favorite seemingly, is “in there” and it’s used appropriately), and I either have an early talker on my hands, or this is typical toddler. I really don’t know. Because at 16 months, the Mini had so few words and almost none that he used appropriately. He could understand, to a certain extent, and look in the general direction of things, but the gestures and language weren’t there. I remember waiting and waiting, and just having that sinking feeling.
LG has way more words than is typical for this age. She had her first language explosion at 9 months. And another one, between now and then. She’s on her third language explosion, and this one, is a doozy. There are words! New ones! Lots of them! Every.single.day. It’s insanity.
And I’m not saying this to brag. No, I’m saying this because I’m so, so grateful. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to watch your child make connections and talk and do things that they should be doing, after having a child that didn’t do those things. I look at the struggles others are going through and my heart goes out to them. Because I know. I know. I’ve been there. I’m still there. Things are so much better with the Mini, but he’ll always have his struggles, and who knows what his life will be like when he’s older. I don’t dwell on it (much), I prefer to live in the now, because the now will only be here for a short time.
It’s so hard to not be able to effectively communicate with your child. Or communicate at all. It’s frustrating when you ask about their day, and the answer you get is rote. He’s 50/50 rote and expressive language. His answers are sometimes mini scripts. His “spontaneous” language is scripted (“there’s the broken house. No one lives in a broken house.” Every.single.time. we pass the abandoned house on the way to the BFF’s, or pointing out things he knows instead of asking useful questions, or asking the same questions repeatedly, even if he knows the answers). He’s starting to associate things, instead of just pointing out “that’s Grandma’s car.” This is not the worst thing in the world, but it does get daunting.
I had the pleasure of talking to Aunt Becky the other day, who is awesome and funny, and humble. She also started this really awesome site called Band Back Together, which is an outlet for people who have a story to tell. Anything from abuse, to IVF, divorce, special needs…you name it. But we got to talking about special needs and Autism (her son, Ben, is on the spectrum, and it was nice to swap stories). If you weren’t aware, her youngest daughter, Amelia, was born with an encephalocele, which is a neural tube defect. Basically, a part of her brain was on the outside. I know I failed anatomy, but I’m pretty sure your brain is supposed to be nice and cozy inside your skull. Defying all sorts of odds, that little girl, showed everyone that she was not a force to be reckoned with. It was recently that Aunt Becky realized her daughter, who is close to 2, doesn’t speak. I can’t even begin to walk a mile in her shoes in regards to finding out her child had a neural tube defect upon birth and worrying whether or not she’ll grow up to be typical or not. It puts things into perspective.
But really, what my point is, sure, you may be hearing your kid tell you something, or just incessantly babbling, or telling on someone, or saying I want some juice 8 billion times in a row. You might think to yourself, “for the love of god, will you just PLEASE.SHUT.UP ALREADY?” But as a mom, who longs to hear about what her kid did at school that day, other than the rote answer “I played and played,” Don’t take it for granted. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to hear my daughter’s words. Her questions. Her statements. Her demands. It’s a beautiful thing.