As Peanut neared twenty four months, I waited in anticipation for “two word” sentences. That’s what Baby Center told me I should be expecting, anyways. And although I try to avoid investing too much energy in the recommended milestones (because every child is different, of course), it was impossible not to peek. Her vocabulary was expanding – absolutely. But slowly.
I’ve been given a myriad of advice with respect to language development. And one of the most difficult things about motherhood is filtering that information. As a parent, you never really know whether you’re doing the right thing. Particularly when there’s conflicting advice. Particularly with the first child. (Or maybe ever.)
Peanut is growing up in a house where two languages are spoken – Mandarin Chinese and English. Although most of her exposure is to English (I don’t – and will most likely never – speak Chinese beyond the most basic of words), around 40% of the time Jerry speaks to her in Mandarin. I’ve been told that children in bi-lingual households can have the “appearance” of a delay. And my husband spoke incredibly late, according to his mother. But still, I worried. For months. So I decided to make an appointment and actually have her assessed, by an impartial professional. It seemed prudent, especially with pre-school approaching.
Our appointment was two weeks ago. I loved the speech pathologist we visited; she was kind, thorough, and thoughtful. Peanut related incredibly well. After about an hour of various questions and tasks, she concluded that Peanut doesn’t need therapy per se. Still, she recommended several things we could do to help bump up her language. She also suggested we watch her for the next several months and come back if things don’t appear to be improving.
Even since the appointment Peanut’s language has become increasingly clear. It probably will continue to. And when she catches up we’ll be waiting. In the mean time, I’ll be that woman at the park annunciating TUR-TLE.
You know, the one everybody thinks is bananas.
That’s my normal.
And perhaps some form of that is everyone’s normal.