Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Late Talker

This isn't going to be the best blog post in the world but I just need to vent about how I'm feeling right now about Jackson's language development.

Over the past several weeks we've been making a concerted effort to keep the TV off.  Some days I've done really well, others I haven't.  It's especially hard when I need to get something done or when he's crying for it.  It just makes him so happy.  So, I'm thinking of turning it off completely for the rest of the week to break the habit.  Thing is, I don't know if I can do it myself.  I feel like if I am not allowing him to watch it, I should turn it off for myself too.  Because, honestly, I think the problem is my addiction to TV as much as it is Jackson's.  I know that I could be working with him more and interacting with him more, but for some reason I get glued to the set.

Jackson has made a little progress in the past few weeks.  He's saying da-da, good, gone, done, tries to say dog (sounds like a Homer Simpson 'Doh!'), and on occasion will try to say 'I did it' (sounds like 'die-did-dit') when he throws the ball.  All of these things are random though.  He won't say them on command or mimic us saying them.  It's almost like he refuses to say anything if we are wanting him to.  He doesn't say any of the things you would think a toddler would say first like juice, milk, cup, cookie, ball, ma-ma, etc.

But then he does do things that blow my mind.  He tries to brush his own teeth and hair.  He knows how to work my iPhone (presses the button, and slides the bar to turn it on), knows how to turn on the tv (go figure), can open the back door if it's not locked, and will go fetch just about anything you ask him to (a ball, his blanket, his cup, a toy or book, etc.).

I've been feeling really good about his progress until I was looking at a milestone chart today and found myself heart-broken and riddled with guilt again.  I've had several friends tell me to stop looking at the charts, which I am totally going to do starting today.  They seem to make me feel worse about Jackson's development rather than better.  It said that he should be saying 15 words regularly by 18 months.  That means he has a whole heck of a lot of catching up to do in the next 4 weeks, which makes me nervous.  Also, it said that he should be pointing to body parts when asked.  Jackson has absolutely no interest in even sitting through the 'Heads, shoulders, knees and toes' song and I can't get him to sit still long enough to even point out his body parts long enough that he would be able to recognize them.

I'm trying not to be upset about it or think there might be something wrong but it is really hard when you see every other toddler at Jackson's age doing things he just will not do.  Is it something I'm doing?  Am I not doing what I should be doing to aid his development?  Or is he just laid back and will do it when he feels like it?

I know that every child is different and develops at a different pace but I can't help but worry.  I guess, more than anything, I'm struggling with fear and mother's guilt.  Fear that he will need some type of intervention and guilt that in some way this is all my fault.  So prayers are greatly appreciated for us (Bryan too b/c he has to deal with an emotional wife) right now!



  1. Of course talking to him and interacting with him is important but I doubt that you aren't. If he is having a delay in speech (and only a doctor who sees him in person can tell for sure), it's not your fault. And catching it early means that his likelihood of catching up completely is VERY high. So you should tell your pediatrician your concerns and press him/her for either reassurance or what to do next. And you can call them tomorrow. You don't HAVE to wait 4 weeks. (although you can, if your emotional state can handle it.)

    I will send it on to my hubs too. No problem.

  2. Let me start by sharing some advice my mom gave me- When Ava was 1st born I told Mom Andres & I had talked about getting the "Your Baby CAN Read" program. Mom said I shouldn't do it, & when I asked why she made a very good point. She told me Ava would learn how to read when she needed to, that she was going to have 13 years of consistant education & that I should let her be a child while she had the chance to be a child. So here's my thoughts on your situation with Jackson- he will talk when he he's ready, when he needs too. If your pediatrician hasn't said anything about him being delayed yet, he's most likely not. Definitely express your concerns, but don't obsess and tear yourself apart because of them. When i asked Ava's pediatrician what I should be doing for her as far as education she told me the best thing I could do for Ava was to love her, give her as much attention as possible, and be patient. Everything would come in time, and if it didn't it could be fixed. Even if Jackson is behind on his speech it's NOT because of anything you did or didn't do. It's because he's Jackson, and life happens differently for different people (or little people in this case). You are an amazing mother & it breaks my heart to know you doubt yourself. You are such a fine example of what a good mom/wife/woman should be!!! Just try to be patient, and above all else have FAITH! And remember you are very much loved & so is your child and NOTHING is more important than that!!

  3. I agree with EVERYTHING Katie said ... every child is different and to think that a "chart" can tell you anything is absurd. Let him be ... and please don't beat yourself up over it.

  4. Lindsey, I'm probably not the most qualified person to comment on this, but I've always been so grateful to my parents for never pressuring my siblings + I when it came to learning, because now, learning isn't a chore... it's getting excited about something new. Their main thing was just to get excited WITH us when we got excited about something... reading, talking, whatever, and encouraging us right at that moment, even if it wasn't convenient for them. My brother (who had pretty bad learning disabilities) finds a cool snake? Biology lesson! The back of a cereal box in the grocery store? Reading opportunity! I don't know that their "seize the moment" philosophy would work for everybody, but we all still love learning, and my little brother (who always scored at the very bottom of those "charts") just graduated college, on time, and w/ honors, so it might be worth a shot. More than anything, though, trust that God made your adorable little boy exactly the way he wanted him to be. :) Hope you guys are doing well! -Jessi M.