Gift of the ungab… when do I start worrying?

August 3, 2011

Dear Max

I’ve never been big on developmental milestones and have never really followed where you to the week or month you should be in your development. I’ve kind of just relied on my own intuition, and on the rare doctor/nurse checkup, plus what your teacher thinks, rather than sticking to the books.

But now I’m starting to doubt myself a little, and your processes, and I’m getting a little worried about your limited vocab. At the moment you can say a few words – out (you must have picked this up from me while shouting at the dog), car, dada (though this extends to other people too), mama (same as with dada), tata (goodbye) and dankie (thank you). And while part of me thinks that you’re the kind of dude who does everything in his own time and that you’re more than fine, another part of me is freaking out a bit that there might be something *wrong*, or that you are “behind” in development.

The relaxed part of me is saying that you’re healthy, you’re happy and understand what people say to you, whether it’s “touch your head” or “let’s go and run your bath”. But something is nagging at me, and I don’t know whether to give into the nagging, or just chill a little and give it another month or so and take it from there.

And that’s the thing about parenting – you do what you think is best at the time, but it might not actually be the “best”. So if I leave it, and something is wrong, I might be causing you more harm. But if everything is proceeding as is right for you, and I start panicking and rushing you to experts, this might affect your confidence/happiness/security.

So for now, I’m leaving it for a little longer. I hope I’m not fucking up further. I hope you find your words in good time.

Love Mom

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  • kambabe

    I’m not sure how old he is but it seems like he is developing just fine. If he is understanding things then the speech will come. One day it will all spill out and you will be wondering what the worry was for. Hang in there mom early speech (although most people percieve otherwise) has nothing to do with intelligence.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:28 am Reply
  • kambabe

    Btw great picture

    August 3, 2011 at 7:28 am Reply
  • Rogeema

    I’m not a Mom so I don’t know if I’m even qualified to comment here, but I don’t think you should worry. I took me long to start speaking as well when I was a baby. In fact some aunties told my mom that it seems I’m a little ‘slow’ or ‘backward’ or whatever the hell the word was that they used.

    Well, they weren’t saying that any more when I always finished in the top 3 in my class in school!

    So yes, chill. If there’s a problem I’m sure your intuition will pick it up.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:49 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Aaaah, thanks for the words. And glad you proved everyone wrong…

      August 3, 2011 at 10:51 am Reply
  • nickistormdadic

    A friend’s little boy only started speaking “properly” a couple of days before his third birthday. I believe that they’re all different, and, knowing Max personally, I believe he is perfect. He knows exactly what you’re asking him to do and follows instructions well. I think that you’re right in waiting a little longer – but perhaps speak to someone (a professional) to set your own mind at ease? x

    August 3, 2011 at 7:59 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks Nik. Gonna give it a little longer. But I’m going to chat to his teacher again soon.

      August 3, 2011 at 10:53 am Reply
  • Sharon

    T, I think if you’re worried about it, for your own peace of mind, get it checked out, just so that you can’t quiet the nagging voice in your head.
    Having said that, like the others, I don’t think you have much to worry about. There has been no indication so far that there is anything wrong with Max, so it’s unlikely that there is suddenly something wrong now. I’ve also heard, from friends & families with boys that sometimes they do talk a little later. My brother, as an eg. never said one word, not one word, till he was 3 years old. Then one day my mom bust him scribbling on the walls with crayons and when she shouted at him and asked him what he was doing he replied: Colouring the wall! And he has not shut up again since then!
    They’re all different! And I think he’s doing just fine!

    August 3, 2011 at 9:03 am Reply
  • sasha

    My little Nina doesnt speak much, and she’s almost 2. When I look at the kids in her class, who jabber away, I sometimes get a bit nervous, just like you. But if i look at the kids- most are a little older, or have brothers or sisters they learn from. Little Max is doing great, trust your initial gut feeling! xx

    August 3, 2011 at 9:15 am Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks for the reassurance! Much appreciated! 🙂

      August 3, 2011 at 10:54 am Reply
  • cat@juggling act

    I think you need to give it a bit more time. In all honesty, unless it is a big issue, most therapists look at over 3 year olds.

    August 3, 2011 at 1:18 pm Reply
  • Vannessa

    Give him time. I agree with the others. My son has just turned 2 and also did not say much but now in the last few weeks has started repeating every last word that we say. In his own way of course. I also heard of someone who did not say a word until they were 3 and then at the dinner table suddenly asked someone to pass the salt. Dunno if that’s an urban myth or not but after reading Sharon’s story above I am inclined to believe it.

    August 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm Reply
    • Tanya Kovarsky

      Thanks for sharing that – feeling better that I’m not the only one!

      August 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm Reply
  • MomAgain@40

    My little one also started late, but now she is a mouthful, and everybody says her vocab is quite big for her age! Don’t wory!

    August 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm Reply
  • Sue Stuart

    Katy at 18 months only has a few words, and several of them are very similar! “Sheesh” is shoes, cheese or juice. “Ap” is up or hot :). I do sometimes wonder if she should be saying more, but she too understands instructions perfectly, so I’m not letting it worry me (Yet!)

    August 4, 2011 at 9:44 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    He seems to be doing just fine!! He’s not a technological created robot einstein, he is Max, which makes him and every other baby different 🙂 Which is why we love them more 🙂

    August 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm Reply
  • Everything in your own time… for now « Dear Max

    […] while back I wrote a post on my worry about your speech – how you weren’t talking a lot, and whether I should […]

    October 17, 2011 at 7:25 am Reply
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