A Slow Talkin' Boy: Mom Talk
How long do you wait for the little boy to talk before you seek help?
The kid won't talk.
I know I'm going to live to regret wanting him to open his mouth. There will be many a day I wish he'd just shut up. But for now, it stresses me out that he won't talk.
He is 20 months old. He does plenty of other impressive things. He has been walking since nine months. He sings and hums. He keeps rhythm.
He clearly understands words. He follows directions. If I tell him to pick up the red ball, he usually gets it right. If I ask him "where is the such-and-such?," he looks around and usually finds it. He understands the language. Hearing is not the issue.
Communication is also not the issue. Liam does sign some language. For example, at meal time, he signs words for more, all done, water and milk. He also knows how to sign please, a word he uses when he wants something.
My favorite sign he does is for daddy. My husband often has breakfast with us before work. Sometimes, if he has to leave early, Liam misses him. Sometimes on those days, Liam asks where his daddy is by making the sign. That's how I know that breakfast with dad is an important part of Liam's day.
In the past few months, we have worked on sounds. Liam now says "mah" for more when he is hungry.
But for the life of me, we cannot get him to move past that. We work on the B sound for ball. We say up, up, up, every time we put him in the highchair or car seat. We are trying lots of tricks.
The truth is, I am not all that worried. The doctor wants me to take Liam to a speech therapist in a couple months if he doesn't talk by then. But I guess I am in no hurry to do that.
Liam is a very physical boy. He could roll over at two months and run by nine. Other moms tell me that boys are more physical and girls are more cerebral. Girls usually talk earlier. Boys usually walk earlier.
Every time I tell this story to a friend or relative, inevitably, someone comes back with a similar story.
Is it true that boys talk later than girls? Should I be worried? Should I go ahead and see a speech therapist, or just wait it out? Which is worse: the chatterbox stage or the I'm-gonna-throw-a-fit-cuz-I-can't-say-what-I-mean stage?
Last Christmas, a wise friend told me that once Liam starts talking, it will be in paragraphs. I believe her. But that was six months ago. My husband says we are going to be looking back on these quiet moments as the good old days.
Seeing Liam make the sign for daddy, though, is a treasured memory I doubt I will ever forget.