My day today-and most days this week:
Mommy: Do you want up? Say, “Up!” and I’ll pick you up. Say, “Up!”
Jack: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA YOU ARE THE WORST PARENT EVER!
Mommy: Say, “Up!” As soon as you say it, I’ll pick you up.
Jack: WAAAAAAAAAAA WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?!
REPEAT. Five hundred times.
Geez Louise. You take your kid in for a check up and the next thing you know, your doctor is setting you up with Babies Can’t Wait. Well, Doc, babies can wait and this one is going to have to because Mommy and Daddy are going to fix this themselves. Luckily, I have a friend who is a speech therapist. I just knew my doctor was overreacting and that Jack shouldn’t really be talking yet, but my friend immediately confirmed. Babies should usually know a few words by the age of 12 months. Well-crap.
Jack is obviously a bright kid. He interacts well with others and plays. He puts shapes in the right puzzle holes. He dances and claps his hands and looks people in the eyes. He gives kisses and pets the dogs, but at 16 months he doesn’t knowingly verbalize a single word. He loves to say “Yeah!”, but seems to have absolutely no idea what he is saying. My speech therapist friend and doctor were both nice enough not to say it, but I think we all know that this is completely my fault.
I give him everything he ever wants a second before he even points to it. I know his every movement and what he’s going to need next. It’s a difficult habit to change. I hate hearing him cry. I realize as I’m writing this that the reason most bratty children are brats is because their parents hate hearing them cry. It really isn’t a “Aw! My poor baby! Don’t cry!”. It’s totes, “Stop crying! That’s annoying! What do you want?” I have things to do. I can’t listen to him crying all day. This started as the only way he could communicate with me and has now transformed into the only way I’ve taught him to communicate with me. I have definitely created this monster. I’ve never asked him to say “cup” or “up” or “eat” or anything. I tell him what things are when I hand them to him, but I guess I just figured he would start saying them when he was ready.
After only a few days of trying to get Jack to say something before I give it to him, I’ve discovered that this is more challenging than I thought. So far, he doesn’t say anything. He just cries and screams and wonders why his evil mother refuses to give him an M and M. I can’t imagine weeks of this. It’s seriously just as awful for me as it is for him. For now, I’m only doing the word “eat” for M and M’s. When he gets that one, we will move on to another word. If he isn’t saying some words by 18 months, we will go at it harder, but for now, my husband and I have agreed that torturing him so early seems cruel. Especially, since he’s been late with everything else. He was late rolling over, crawling, standing, and walking. When he decided to do it, he went full force. We are hoping he will be the same with talking. It may be all my fault, but at only 16 months, I’m okay with that. When he’s a little older, the guilt might set in. Besides, as a professional male model, he won’t need to talk that much.