Thursday, March 25, 2010

Saying too much

I am not the kind of mother who likes to brag about her kids accomplishments too much. Tell stories about them being funny? Sure. But out right brag? Not my thing.

However, with that said, my kids do talk more than the average kid their ages. The kids doctors frequently comment on both of their ability to communicate, string sentences together and grasp concepts that are above average; and other mothers tend to ask about it a lot too.

The first time the doctor had mentioned something to me she said, "Do you talk to your kids a lot?" Have you met me? Yes, I talk all. the. time. nonstop! So, I used to make the mistake when moms would comment by saying, "their doctor says it is just because I talk to them a lot." Wrong response. What a mom will hear out of that sentence is, "you must never talk to your kids - you are a terrible mother." Oops. Remove foot from mouth!

Now that I have been hearing these comments for over a year and have seen friends kids developing in different ways, I have come to the conclusion that kid just all develop at their own pace. My kids both walked late (13 months and 16 months), but talked early (8 months and 9 months). And even though both kids are very articulate they are not great with large motor skills. It isn't that they are any smarter, they are just using a different part of their brains.

However, relaying this realization to other moms is still sometimes awkward.

Here is an example.

I was recently at the Nature Center with the kids playing with the dinosaurs. Peter (who is obsessed with dinosaurs) can say the names of a lot of dinosaurs. Even for me it is pretty hard to believe that my 2 year old can say words (clear as day) like: Allosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Leptoceratops, Diplodocus, Iguanodon, Parasaurolophus. Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Velociraptor (clearly I am looking through his dinosaur book to post this blog).

So here we are playing, Peter going on about all the names and what they eat, what features they have that make him know that they are the dinosaur that he is saying they are, when I notice a woman staring at him. Like he is glowing.

Woman - Wow, he really talks a lot. How old is he?

Me - Two and a half. He will be three in August.

Woman - Oh, I thought he was a small four year old. My son turned two in December and he hardly has 20 words in his vocabulary. Seeing your son, I think I should get him tested.

Me - You know, I really wouldn't worry about it. Peter talked pretty early, but he walked late and he isn't as good with fine motor skills either. Some kids just develop differently.

Woman - Really?

Me - Yeah! Plus, he really went from not saying much to something just clicking and being about to form sentences and speak more clearly. And, we have friends that are older than Peter that don't talk as much. I really wouldn't be too concerned about your son.

This went on for several minutes. Then, just when I finally felt like I had eased this woman's fears that her child would never talk. Aaron holds up a dinosaur and says, "Look! Triceratops, Mommy!"

The woman looks at me with a face that I can only describe as defeated and says, "So how old is he?"

I didn't have the heart to tell her that he wouldn't be two until July.

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