Our two year old doesn’t speak.
That is to say – he makes noises by the bucketload (wonderful loud ear-blasting noises) – but no real words. We are all (the parent and grandparent committee) sure there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Nothing to worry about at all.
My partner comes home every day with a new tale of a colleague’s child who didn’t speak till they were six and now they’re going to Oxford University. So we aren’t worried. At all. Officially.
But off the record – I’m a tiny bit worried.
He makes lots of noises (usually at 3am).
He started off with Dadda. Clear as a bell.
He has said mumma once or twice. But I think that was really a fluke. I think he thinks it means “Ouch”.
One time he quite clearly said “Konnichiwa“.
But recently all he’s been saying is Gaga. Gaga to everything. (He’s a big pop fan).
The ‘Gaga’ is grandma – so that’s promising. Creep! But no other noises.
This isn’t troubling in itself – until I’m with other two year olds (and much younger) who can talk in very coherent sentences. SENTENCES. He socialises with two year olds who go to nursery (whereas my son doesn’t) so I say to myself that they have to talk to get what they want.
Whereas our son can grunt in an E flat minor and I know he’s done a small poo and wants the frosted Shreddies.
But there are some children I meet who don’t go to nursery – and can chatter away.
Sometimes we go to meet-ups and the tiny humans are liaising with each other like we are at a PR business breakfast, discussing the pros and cons of being a dinosaur – and my son is in the corner licking the giant floor jigsaw.
So then – what’s my excuse? “They’re better mothers than you!”
“They started reading books earlier than you did! Those babies only watch Baby Mozart! They eat Kale and linseed muffins with a side of homemade blueberry yogurt (brain food)! Those mothers/ fathers just engage more with their children! They watch less ‘Dora The Explorer’! They are just better stock” – My head says.
About two weeks ago he started making an odd noise. A sort of gurgling, back of the throat sound while moving his mouth and tongue up and down. To try and describe it – imagine Donald Duck pretending to speak French on a phone when he knows no French. Over gesticulating the whole time.
A sort of “glurg-kkhhhk-warrrxxxx-grlorf-glorf-gigglic-gigglic-quar-QUAR!”
“Why is he making that sound?” My partner asked, exhausted, his ears bleeding, after two weeks of this noise. I thought about it for a while and said
“The only thing I can think of is that he thinks he sounds really cool? Like us?”
I walk around the park bellowing “There’s a tree…TREEEE!”
and that’s a flower – “FLOWEWEEERRR!”
and there’s a dog – “DOOOGGGGIIIIEEEE!”
Like a nut!
I read to him every night (and some in the day), the same books for repetition, again and again and again. I can recite ‘The Tiger who came for tea’ and ‘Monkey Puzzle’ right now to you. Without the book in front of me – word for bleeding word.
I talk to him constantly – but nothing seems to be working. (although he can say ‘car’).
I mean it’s not like we’ve kept him in a box or anything!
He has always been exposed to speech, noise, books, words, friends and family talking to him, cbeebies programs on repeat, Mr frickin Tumble! I’m an English teacher for feck’s sake!
Last weekend he was poorly. High temperature, off his food, generally listless and he stopped making that noise.
He walked up to me, sat on my lap and said, clear as day “oh… momma!”
Which makes me think – he does know the right words to get what he wants. They’re in there somewhere – lurking – waiting for the right time. And that one day he’ll decide that enough is enough and he’ll say:
“Mother, I don’t like that Aldi Cottage Pie, can I have the M&S Shepard’s pie from now on? And I’m not sold on that ‘Mike The Knight’ eegit either.”
Two year old’s words to date:
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