What Did You Say?

It’s a moment, as a parent, that we wait for with breathless anticipation for many, many months.  Then, it finally comes!  Here’s the downer. Instead of being magical, it does nothing but cause developmental milestone panic.

Here is what I hear when I ask my 21-month-old daughter a question. Her voice is so low and quiet that it would be a nice perk to have closed captioning for interpretation over her head like in a little cartoon bubble.  But I’m afraid it would read like mumbo jumbo.

“Ah (inaudible, inaudible, inaudible) dis shews.”  I think the last two words are “this shoes.”  My only clue is that she is pointing to her shoes.  Never mind about the grammar.  The important question is, “What did you say?”  Many times, I just look at her bewildered when she speaks.

She talks, but it comes out as mumbo jumbo.  I have to admit though that each day is getting better.  She repeats words.  Some words are clear.  Many are not.  “Da Da” is the clearest and loudest word in her vocabulary.  Imagine that.  She gleefully announces his name as soon as the “rock star” comes home daily.  I only get “Mama” when she is mad, and with that girly, dramatic flair, she slams her hands down on the table when she utters the word.  She comes by her nickname, “Baby Diva,” naturally.

I have three long months to go until my daughter’s two-year checkup to make sure her language skills are normal for her age.  I don’t know if it is just me, but I think the six months between the 18-month appointment and two-year checkup is the longest time EVER.  I’m okay for about four months, but then I start to have these development milestone palpitations. 

I call my friends.  “I think she may need speech language therapy.”  They try to assure me that she is fine and ask me to remember that with our first children, the doctor told us that we would see a big difference in verbal skills at the age of 2.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I had a boy the first time, so I wasn’t as alarmed as I am now.  Boys, as we women know, will be men, and men don’t really know how to communicate, do they now?  It doesn’t help my palpitations that I have read that girls have stronger verbal skills at an earlier age.  My niece was talking in complete sentences at 18 months. Baby Diva sounds like she is a cave woman in comparison.  Her conversation skills would be great if we all conversed in animal noises.  She speaks the farm animal’s language with expertise.  “Baaah.”  “Oink.”  “Neigh.” 

Or maybe she will excel in a career as a TV weather person.  The only thing I do understand that she’s been saying a lot is, “It’s hot!”  She’s been right about that, lately. We have had some of the hottest weeks on record here in North Carolina.  When she starts preschool next month, at least, I know her teachers will understand her for the morning weather activity, if for nothing else.  She needs to work on saying “cold,” though. 

Maybe she’ll add “cold,” “windy,” "rainy,"” and “sunny," to her vocabulary before her two -year-old checkup to complete the entire weather forecast.  She did say "rain" last night.   Oh my, I’ll have a whole year between well-visits after she turns two.  You can bet I’ll probably develop some new developmental milestone palpitations within those long 365 days.  I wouldn’t be the worried mom that I am, if I didn’t.

This post was originally written for my column on Triangle Mom2Mom with the Raleigh News and Observer.  As soon as I uploaded this blog for Wednesday's feature, my daughter must have known I was talking about her language skills, and decided to show me a thing or two.  That evening, she took her favorite book about colors, opened it, and read every page.  We understood every color, and she was 100 percent correct.  I slept well that night. 

Reminder, I have two giveaways underway right now.
On Monday, I revealed that I was part of a blogging team here in Raleigh.  We created several, mouth-watering, original recipes using Lawry's Marinades and Seasonings.  I want you to be able to create our culinary delights in your kitchen so I'm giving away a Lawry's Gift Pack with the same spices and marinades we used for the recipes.  Deadline to enter is August 24. 

Of course, I also want you to look stylish in the kitchen when you cook nightly.  I team up with Tricia Edmundson with 31 Gifts to giveaway a great, personalized hostess apron.  The deadline to enter is August 22. 

I'm also joining a link-up today for a blog that I have recently discovered, and enjoy reading.  Stop by Filling our Bucket's "Whatever Wednesday!" I love it because you can just write "whatever".  As writers, we sometimes like to write whatever our moods or creative juices decide at the time.  We're impulsive!  We like "whatever." 

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