I don’t get it. The kid turns 3 in a couple of weeks and he’s still not talking. Oh don’t get me wrong, the boy mumbles and babbles and says the occasional word very clearly when he wants to, but his communication skills are clearly not where they should be at this point.
But the kid ain’t stupid…not by a long shot. I mean, we’ve already tested his hearing and communication skills and he’s come back 100% every time. He shows signs of keen intelligence and does so quite frequently.
He understands almost everything that I tell him without fail. If I tell him to go pick something up or get a blanket out of his room, he does it…quickly. He says ‘dad’ and ‘mom’ and ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and ‘up’ and a bunch of ramblings that I have learned to understand their meanings.
At first, doctors and friends and family told The Ex and I not to worry. But as time has passed and months have turned into a year, we’re going to have him tested again soon. For what, exactly? I don’t know…that’s all on The Ex right now. I’m just going along for the ride.
For me, I’m in no rush to really force him to talk. In fact, I was joking with him the other night that I thought he was faking it. Is he? Who knows? Probably not…but here’s kind of how the conversation went after I picked him up from the babysitter:
“How was your day, buddy? Was it good?”
“Oh really? (laugh) Y’know, I think you could tell me if you wanted to.”
…babbling in response with his shoulders shrugged a bit…
“That’s right, buddy. I think you can talk to me just fine.”
…babbling in response…
(more laughter) “I’m just saying, buddy…I think you can speak to me.”
…babbling and a shake of his head ‘no’…
It was that last shake of the head that pretty much confirmed (in my head, anyway) that he’s ready to talk at any time. I mean, he understands so much…I just don’t see how he couldn’t talk when he’s extremely audible at times with certain words.
My dad had recently ripped out a story from a copy of a Reader’s Digest from 1998 that had some advice on this very subject:
“Don’t try to teach him to talk – not right now. You just give him lot sof love and attention. When he feels confident and secure, he’ll talk.”
In that particular story, the child ended up talking around the time he turned four years old. I honestly don’t know if I can go another entire year without him talking to me (and I suspect both him and his mom will also be frustrated), but I really don’t want to push it right now.
I just want him to be happy.
No one knows exactly why some children take so long to talk while others don’t. What I know, though, is that there is a large group of kids out there in the world that share the exact same pattern of development and learning that my son does. I know he’s intelligent and I know he’ll be talking my ear off soon enough. I have confidence that he’ll talk when he’s ready and not a day before.
And y’know what? That’s good enough for me.