Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Captain Laconic

Today was the pinnacle of an exhausting stream of days.  (And tomorrow may be a new pinnacle, and the day after that too...)
But today was all about our Captain.

pretending it's not February

Due to his alarming lack of speech development between his 18 and 24 month well-visits we found ourselves at an early intervention assessment this morning.  It was kind of like being in a room of wise old grandmothers who love children.  It was also like a Nuremberg trial for my parenting.  I must have been asked 200 questions, all with the sweet implication that of course I should know the answer.

"Does your child seem able to differentiate classes of objects?"
"Does your child have any understanding or expectation of linear time?"
"Does your child have any pet names for objects?"


I had to wonder if the forms they were filling out had a bubble for "don't know" - because every time I answered as such I sort of wished I could disappear into my chair.  Am I really that distracted of a parent?  Am I completely out of touch with my poor middle child?  

Intense self-doubt and parenting young children creates a rather volatile internal dialogue.  I sort of left the appointment feeling like the worst parent ever.
And with a packet of forms to fill out.
Because our Captain is, indeed, not speaking like he ought.  It is the source of endless frustration for all parties throughout our days.  Lots of pointing and yelling and guessing.
Luckily his vision and hearing tested well, and his language comprehension is good, and his problem-solving skills are above average.
I think perhaps most of his exceptionally strong and weak points in the testing can be attributed to having a certain Sir O for an older brother.

But for now there is speech therapy in his immediate future.  Because I really wanted another ball to juggle.  I'm starting to think that juggling requires more confidence than I have today.

Today (and yesterday, and the day before) I really just want a long nap and a recoup.  But there is no prep-period in parenting.

And tomorrow Mr Renn heads out of town (boo) for a job interview (yay!) leaving me to single-parent for 60 hours (boo) and then spend a long holiday weekend with us (yay!).  If ever I was to be allotted a prep-period, now would be a good time for it.

Anyone know which button you press for that?


--jeff * said...

i think you press "5".

my nephew didn't start speaking anything more than a few scattered words until shortly after his second birthday.
now he's 2.5 and speaks in full sentences and won't shut up.

but i'm sure you'll get plenty of comments from actual mothers with first-hand experience.

hairyshoefairy said...

I'm sorry you felt that way about the trial, er, I mean, assessment. If it makes you feel any better I don't really know the answers to those questions about my kids, either. You are still an attentive parent. You just don't hover. Which is a good thing. At least The Captain is going to get a little boost. I hope it works quickly and you can more easily communicate soon. I hate this point and shout period.

Brittany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brittany said...

You do have a full plate. As I tried to answer those questions for my children, I was left saying "ummm" too. I hope that you don't get too down filling out the rest of those forms. You are a good mom Em, there is no doubt about that. Hopefully the speech therapy will go well, and the frustration will subside. Hang in there! PS- You may want to talk to Chantele, she went through the same thing with Caden,

...life, the way of the hummingbird said...

just wanted to to say 'I love you' and fully trust that in a few months from now he'll have caught up just fine.

Suz said...

Hey Em!

I'm sure you've gotten plenty of input about the Captain, but I just wanted you to know you're not alone.

My son was saying "ball," "truck" and a bunch of jibberish just before he turned 3. I was kind of annoyed, and everyone kept telling me something might be wrong. I did the hearing tests, the early intervention eval, and finally, I listened to my Dr. who said that as long as comprehension is there, speech development is such a huge variable between 2-4 and to ride it out...they have plenty of time to catch up.

So, I stopped stressing about it and I just left it alone. I'm so glad.

By 4, he was plenty caught up and just fine. He's now in kindergarten and is right on target with speech, reading, and everything else. Nobody could tell you which kids were talking at 2 or 4 because in the long run, it doesn't make a difference. You'll know by then where he really needs help.

Just breathe. You are doing everything right, and you're a (perfectionist) mom with 3 busy, healthy, growing boys.

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