I meant to write about DST kicking my ass.

I am having the kind of week where I go to make a second pot of tea, forget to change the bag, and wind up with a pot of tea-scented water. And I am too tired and discouraged to go through all the trouble of boiling water again, so I announce that “It’s chocolate time!” and have a piece of chocolate with Sam instead. (He did not mind.)

I don’t know if it’s really fair to blame the time change, but Sam was sleeping beautifully for a week or two — which is like one million years in Sam time — and Sunday night he started sleeping like shit. Oh fuck fair, I blame the time change.

I am so tired. And poor Will has barely been sleeping at all. And it really doesn’t help that with the toilet training, Sam’s language has regressed severely so we are killing ourselves trying to communicate with him. (It’s normal for children to backslide on one skill while learning another, but SO ANNOYING.)

And here’s where I change gears entirely because something amazing happened. Or really, it wasn’t that amazing, but it set my mind reeling.

See, here’s the thing. There are people who think we should have Sam in speech therapy. They think he is developmentally delayed because he doesn’t talk the way other kids his age talk. But Sam is almost certainly NOT developmentally delayed. He is, to be sure, doing things at his own pace. But when he does talk, he uses complete sentences and complex concepts. It’s just that he usually communicates non-verbally, and when he talks you have to really listen to know what he is saying (his consonants could be clearer).

There is no question that he understands what is said to him, and that is the real marker for language development. Will and I both feel certain that he is fine, and do not want to have him evaluated. But when he backslides, we get discouraged and we second-guess ourselves.

Lately we have been having balloon fights. Sam hands us a balloon or three and he gets a balloon and we bash them together like big round swords. This afternoon a balloon he was holding popped. He looked at the limp rubber and carefully stretched it lengthwise, then blew into it. Exactly the way we blow up new balloons. And I looked at him and I remembered that he is fucking brilliant and I don’t give a rat’s ass how much other kids talk — Sam talks when he has something to say and that is just right.

8 thoughts on “I meant to write about DST kicking my ass.

  1. kara marie

    March 12, 2009 at 9:10am

    AMEN! I was one of those kids that didn’t talk on the prescribed “schedule” that everyone seems to go by, and everyone was worried about it. But it wasn’t because I COULDN’T talk, or was slow/stupid, or was developmentally delayed. I just found other ways to communicate my needs that worked better than talking. When I was 4, and could communicate verbally the way I wanted to, I started to talk in full complex sentences. (had issues pronouncing Ks but that’s unrelated I believe).

  2. Stephanie

    March 12, 2009 at 9:41am

    Irina was most likely not “on schedule” either. I didn’t have other people telling me (which would have irritated the hell out of me), but I could tell through comparisons with other children her age and remembering my older two at her age. I never let it bother me because I fully believe children learn on their own timetable. And in the past several months, she’s pretty much had a language explosion.

    Stephanie’s last blog post..Lunchy Love

  3. Anne

    March 12, 2009 at 10:19am

    I say AMEN also! Screw schedules and what others think he should be doing. You, as always, know your kid better than anyone else (I mean “you” as in you and your husband).

  4. KS

    March 12, 2009 at 2:00pm

    First of all, it’s totally normal for kids (especially boys) to not talk or not talk clearly before 3.

    Second of all, I am amazed by how quickly people jump to get their kids in speech therapy these days. I’ve met kids who were in it at 18 months or 2 years! I think it’s all tied into how early kids are put in preschool and the pressure to have everyone in the exact same place developmentally within the school setting.

    Regression of any sort is always challenging to deal with; I think it’s great that you’re able to stay pretty relaxed about his speech with people getting on your case about it.

  5. Jenn

    March 12, 2009 at 5:02pm

    I said my first word at 3.

  6. Angella

    March 12, 2009 at 6:08pm

    My boys did not talk clearly until after they were three.

    NOW I CAN’T SHUT THEM UP.

    It’s a boy thing. Don’t worry :)

    Angella’s last blog post..Mad At Dad?

  7. Paper Dolls for Boys

    March 13, 2009 at 7:58am

    It’s a hard call. Our 2 year old receives early intervention for a speech delay. MA has a great EI program and he qualifies for a person coming to the house once a week and a weekly class that is a movement and song based class with an “easy” emphasis on sounds and speech development. All free.

    The information that I most appreciated through the process was from the speech pathologist who confirmed what we knew (like you!) that his receptive speech is strong (also like your kiddo, above his age) but that his expressive (verbal) was low.

    Like your Sam, he has no trouble communicating, through sign and sometimes, I swear, magic! We are the lucky ones that it’s not a brain processing issue for our little guys.

    My main goal is for my son not to feel discouraged and frustrated if and when other folks can’t understand him. That’s what ultimately tipped us toward getting support. But I am sure we would be doing some of the same strategies and general parenting even if he wasn’t getting services.

    Like anything, I think as parents we just have to make the decision that we feel is best for our little ones and then try not to beat ourselves up for making it! :)

    I clicked over to check for Vintage Photo Friday, didn’t mean to leave a blog on your blog!

    Cheers,
    Tracey

    Paper Dolls for Boys’s last blog post..Vintage Photo Friday :: Kids

  8. kata

    March 13, 2009 at 5:16pm

    You’re totally right, I think, not to get bent out of shape over Sam’s speech. I find it worrisome, the extent to which people, and most especially children, are being “standardized” these days. Which is bad because the standards cannot include, for example, talent, since talent is also something that deviates from whatever is generally defined as the norm.

    kata’s last blog post..On being silly

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