This is big, this "wuvyoo, mama". There's a topic I've shied away from on this blog, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. I don't feel like it was out of pride or out of shame (because clearly, if you've been reading, I have no shame- remember the bluebonnets?). There just wasn't ever really a reason to talk about it here, I guess. Anderson's speech. It's been slow going. At 12 months he wasn't babbling like the books said he would be, but he's a boy and he was hitting every other milestone ahead of schedule, so I wasn't concerned. At 18 months, his pediatrician reassured me he was fine, it was normal, it would come. The ear tubes should help. Quit worrying. There'd be an explosion. So we waited and we read and we enunciated our words carefully, spoke literally, encouraged verbal language by ignoring the non-verbal pointing and grunting. No explosion. 24 months came and went and still, he was quieter than the other kids. Social and affectionate and bright, no doubt about it, but he wasn't speaking like the average 2 year old or even the average 1 1/2 year old. And still, his pediatrician said to wait. But last month, I decided I was done waiting for the magic 30th month, it was time to disregard the pediatrician's placating. There was clearly a delay, and one that was beginning to frustrate him when he didn't have the words to put with his needs or feelings. (Which, obviously, broke my heart and frustrated me, too.) So we had him evaluated. The speech therapist said he had a good number of words and could understand us perfectly fine, but that yes, she saw the concern about a lack of sentences or word combinations, and that she'd have a report to us in a week or so. And a few days ago, the news in my inbox: his speech is delayed enough to qualify him for speech therapy. We'll meet next week to form a plan of action. I sat staring at the speech therapist's email, unsure of just what I was feeling. Happy that he was going to get the help he needed? Sad that someone was saying my child wasn't ::gasp:: perfect? Defeated, because our efforts hadn't been enough? Embarrassed, like I'd failed as a mom somehow? Anxious to get the work underway? A little of each is probably most accurate, if I'm being honest. But as the days go on, I mostly just feel excited. Our boy is smart and funny and friendly and he deserves to have the words to express his thoughts and feelings. He deserves the best possible start, to be speaking like the other kids when he starts preschool, to get a good start with his speech before baby sister's vocab grows any bigger (she's a talker, that V) and eclipses his own.
So, last night, I celebrated that little linguistic victory, that sweet "wuvyoo". I came downstairs all teary eyed and told J what had just happened, how proud I was of our Mister, how proud he looked of himself when I put him back down in his crib. I want more of those moments for him. Hopefully, we're on the right track now.