And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I'm not worried . . . well, not really worried

Ian ia 16 months, 3 weeks old. He's a very bright kid. We know he is. At less than a year, he was trying to put keys in the doorknob, having obviously figured out what keys are for and how to use them. Today I watched him go through the steps of setting up a baseball tee-launcher thingy, putting the ball in, standing the tee up, stepping on the launcher button -- none of it successfully, but still, he knew all the steps from having watched an older kid do them. He can follow all of our directions, including two-step directions like "Pick up your truck and put it in your bedroom." He can nod and shake his head to commmunicate "yes" and "no" at the appropriate times and with appropriate vigor. He can wave "bye." So we know he's smart.

So why am I so hung up on the fact that he's not talking yet? I mean, really no countable words. All right, he says "nuh" for nurse, and "uh-oh," and "ahhh-ohhhh" for all over (at the end of TV shows, when he sees the credits). But no actual, discernible words.

Now, I'm one of the most laid-back moms I know (about most things -- of course, I have my neurotic quirks, like not letting anyone leave the house without a hair brushing). And with your second, you're even more laid back. I do remember being worked up about Katie being 14 months old with no words, and now, at age 5, you can't shut her up (believe me, we've tried). So at 14 months, I said, "Eh, he'll talk sooner or later. Really, I'm not worried." At 15 months, I figured it was just a matter of time. At 16 months, I'm -- well, not exactly worried,, more like concerned, I guess.

It sure would be easier if this kid could talk. I mean, we've made astronomical leaps and bounds in communication just since he started nodding, but talking seems like it would help even more with everybody's frustration. Still, he's a happy, healthy, smart kid, who can keep himself pretty occupied (not always safely occupied -- he clambered to the top of an 8-foot slide today), and I shouldn't worry. I'm not worried.

But I keep thinking about it.