Monday, September 22, 2008

It's a matter of perspective

As Monkey's next well-child visit approaches (a bit on the early side, since the doctor decided to combine an ear infection follow up with an early 15-month visit), I've been a bit anxious about the fact that he still doesn't have much of a vocabulary. In my mind, he says exactly one word clearly - "uh oh" (and boy does he love that word!). He also does lots of dadada and mamama, but the former only sometimes appears to relate to my husband, and the latter is actually a string of requests for "more." He also says "baba," which I've recently figured out is his request for his sippy cup, probably a carry over from his bottle.

But my mom and sister were in town this weekend, and according to them, he's saying TONS of stuff. Am I just not hearing it? Has constant exposure caused me only to hear a string of undifferentiated babble? Are my standards for what constitutes a "word" a bit too exacting for a kid who just turned 14 months old last week?

So we talked about some of the words, and I tried to catch them when I could. It's really all in the intonation. I couldn't tell you exactly WHAT he said when I handed him his sippy cup, but the number of syllables and the intonation have mom and sis convinced he said thank you. They also heard "hi," "bye bye," "night night," "peek-a-boo," "mommy," and several others that I can't remember right now. Yet if you look Monkey in the eye and say "can you say bye?", he will most likely just smile and say nothing at all, or perhaps he'll say dadada or something else entirely. While he's big on mimicking actions, he's clearly not so much into verbal repetition yet (which I guess is something of a blessing as my husband and I struggle to clean up our language a bit!).

I guess the important lesson for me is that he's making progress, and I suspect (and hope) that the doctor will tell me on Friday that Monkey is doing just fine in terms of those milestones we all worry about. In the meantime, would it be wrong if I keep trying to coach him to repeat just one or two more words by the end of the week??

1 comment:

Beverly said...

Oh, I could have written this post! You have put my thoughts/anxieties about Jack into writing. :) I think it IS all a matter of perspective, and my mom also claims that Jack is saying things that I don't hear, perhaps because I'm too busy worrying about whether Jack is "behind." Jack, like Monkey, NEVER repeats words when I want him to. But, Johnny points out that there is no way a child of ours won't be verbal. Anyway, I'm sure that your pediatrician will tell you that Monkey is just fine (more than fine!). I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to coach him to say one or two more words ... good luck!