She gave me toast again for breakfast. I said bah, why doesn’t she know that bah means cereal? I mean it
meant toast yesterday but today it meant cereal. Then she tried to put my purple shoes on even though I wanted
the yellow ones. Is it too much to ask that she just know what shoes I want to wear? At lunch she gave me pasta
when I wanted juice and rice. She said I needed a nappy change when I didn’t want one yet. She then brought
me Rudi to stroke when I wanted Milo, she says cat in my face when they are around. I know they’re cats and
no I will not make that ridiculous noise. Meow? Why would I say that? She talks at me all day and asks
‘can you say…?’ all the time. I wonder what she means…
I like to think I am a verbose, articulate and opinionated individual. Why use one word when 19 will do?
It’s why some people love me, and why some loathe me I am sure. I am loud and unafraid to put a voice to my
thoughts and feelings. While my partner is more shy than I, he is also a wordy individual. That is why it is
complete shock to me that we have produced a wordless child. As if parenting a toddler wasn’t hard enough I have
a child who will not speak. While her peers walk around singing, joining in our conversations and picking up
language like a tornado picks up gingham wearing Kansas girls and their little dogs too. My girl has one clear
word and 14 others that are decipherable to her dad and me.
Parenting babies is a world rife with competition and parental guilt. My child also never rolled over (she has
always been a law unto herself obviously), and I inevitably compared her to all the other super babes at the ripe
old age of 16 weeks rolling onto their bellies, and by 17 weeks onto their back again. Now there is nothing a parent
can do to make their child roll over so it is silly to feel guilt, but maybe we have done something wrong this time?
Do we let her watch too much tv? Probably. Should I talk to her more than I do? I am not sure that is possible.
Should we listen to nursery rhymes instead of The Clash? Sometimes, but please not always!
In all honestly I don’t think we have done anything wrong and I don’t think there is anything we could be doing
to fix it. She is just one of those kids who takes a while to get talking. Her understanding proves that she has
absorbed the language we use around her. I stepped out of the shower yesterday and she immediately lifted her
arms to be picked up. I said ‘wait one sec, Mam needs to get dry’ to which she pointed at the towel hanging up.
I’m biased but the kid is blatantly a genius!
I know words do not fix everything, even children with really advanced language skills cannot convey the
complexities of their raging emotions (in fact, I know many an eloquent adult who struggles with this) and
no matter how much of the alphabet or The Wheels on the Bus a child knows this will not help their adult any as
legs flail, fists slam the floor and screams are let loose in a busy aisle of Tesco. I don’t think her speech improving
will make her any easier to parent, what two year old is? I just feel like I am missing out on something. I want to
hear her voice. Will she have a Geordie twang? I want to know what is in her head. What is it that makes her
scream at 3am, can she see monsters when her eyes are closed? How can I soothe them away if she won’t tell
me they are there? I want to hear that she loves me. I want to hear that I have taught her something. Many have
said I’ll wish for peace and quiet when she does start but I’m not sure I will.