Monday, June 26, 2006

Casa Babel

I know that all kids grow at their own pace, but I am starting to wonder if speaking to him in three languages is the best thing. Why, well here is a list of his words:

bye (and bye-bye), ashes (said like asses, a potty mouth already, uhh-ohh... these are the ones he uses with any frequency... I think their may be one or two more intelligible ones (he does babble quite a bit).

So, of course I start worrying about his development, because that is what we are supposed to do as parents, aren't we? So, I looked at where he should be... informs me of the following (Squinks are bolded - my comments in Italics)

16 months

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

• Turns the pages of a book
• Has temper tantrums when frustrated

• Becomes attached to a soft toy or other object - for a few days anyway

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

Discovers joy of climbing
• Stacks three blocks
Learns the correct way to use common objects (e.g. the telephone)

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

• Takes off one piece of clothing by himself
• Gets finicky about food
Switches from two naps to one – most of the time

17 months

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

• Uses a handful of words regularly
• Enjoys pretend games - what are pretend games?
Likes riding toys

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

Responds to directions (e.g. "Sit down")
• Feeds doll - nope
Talks more clearly

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

Dances to music
• Sorts toys by color, shape, or size
• Kicks ball forward - he does but I think it is on accident

18 months

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

• Will "read" board books on his own - he has always done this
• Can pedal when put on trike
Scribbles well - Huh?

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

• Strings words together in phrases - in his own language
Brushes teeth with help
• Builds a tower of four cubes

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

Throws ball overhand
• Takes toys apart and puts them back together
Shows signs of toilet training readiness

They go on to say:

13 to 18 months
Now your child is using one or more words, and he knows what they mean. He'll even practice inflection, raising his tone when asking a question, saying "Up-py?" when he wants to be carried, for example. He's realizing the importance of language as he taps into the power of communicating his needs.

Some signs to look out for:

13 to 18 months
Your child isn't saying any words by 15 months (including "mama" or "dada"), didn't babble before his first birthday, is unable to point to any body parts, or you still can't understand a word he's saying by 18 months.

I have never done body parts with him, he doesn't know them... was I supposed to? I mean if he looked at my eye and touched it I would, but never played a game of it...

They go on about bilingual situations... and We don't exclusively speak to him in one language... we can't, if it involves the other adult knowing what the one is saying... so we all mix...

Is there a right way to do this?

I HATE feeling like a failure.

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Catherine said...

I remember when Erin was going through all those monthly "developmental milestones" I used to beat myself up every month my stupid baby center newsletter came into my email box. I would sit and analyze each item and when Erin didn't meet the standard, which she rarely did, I would get so upset and be so sure that something was wrong with her. I can't say going to school and having her judged by a room full of other kids (all ranging in age) has done wonders for me either, but I have come to the understanding that children develop differently and I refuse to judge my daughter next to any standard. If something was developmentally wrong with her would I love her any differently? ABSOLUTELY NOT! So I just don't worry any more. These are my two cents, but remember if you continue to worry that is what your pediatrician is for. Bounce some questions off of her/him. The best thing to do is to calm your fears. We as mothers can be so hard on ourselves. Please try not to worry too much and email me if you ever need to talk.

Patricia Tryon said...

We actually sort of, um, (it is embarrassing to admit now) did not actually encourage our kid to walk. She finally got away from us when she was about 14 months old, which I am sure is pretty late.

She also did the language explosion thing when she was about two. Before that, she "communicated" perfectly well, believe me.

And, erm, the thing where diapers go bye-bye? That was, um, erm, not until about 42 months or a little more. Once they were gone (and it was a night and day thing, sort of like talking and walking), they were gone for good day and night.

But, Sweetie, if you want to talk bad mamas... come sit by me. There's plenty more I probably should admit. I was just over at Jordana's place confession that I never made her gag down meat.

But -- oops! Aren't you the one who is usually reassuring ME that our kid is going to turn out okay?! Why don't you send those books to ME? You don't need them; Squink looks happy, healthy, and loved. But maybe it would be useful for me to have a refresher course in The Many Things I Did Wrong, Some of Which I Have Probably Forgotten.

What do you think? ;-)

Jordana said...

Don't stress too much about things. Take the list and see if there is anything (like body parts) that you might want to work on with him. It sounds like he's doing just fine. Kids don't pick up everything on their own and you do have to work on some things with them -- or ask the people taking care of him when you are at work to work with him. My kids have all learned a lot of new words just from the two hours per week they are in Bible class.

But, you aren't a bad mom just because Squink isn't ready for Harvard yet. Also, remember that he came early and often doctors say to keep that in mind for the first several years in terms of development. I bet he's doing just fine, but if you really are concerned talk to your pediatrician.

Northern_Girl said...

I never did worry about development milestones. That may sound flip, but I had a mother, mother-in-law, babysitters, various medical professionals, and several sisters-in-law to do the worrying in that department. I figured they had it covered.

They worried for nothing.

Both my kids are working their way toward driving me insane JUST fine, thanks.

Squink will be better off for learning so many languages. Really. I still have trouble with Pig-Latin. :)

nettie said...

Judging by my albeit limited Austin experience, it sounds like he's doing okay. Some milestones they hit on time, some they may never go through. To use my example, Austin never crawled, but now he's walking beautifully. He may just be skipping a few steps. And if nothing else, I have confidence in you that you're doing the best you can. After all, you love him, and went through so much to have him.

miraclebaby said...

I am sure he is normal. Every child learns at their own pace. Of course it is a mother's job to worry, but really.... my niece is almost 2 and she hardly talks intelligible words yet. We know she's smart, she just does her own thing.... while her sister started talking in full sentences early and sounds like a 5 year old, but she is only 3.

Patricia Tryon said...

Jordana, the problem with doing so much Bible when I was a wee thing is that I saw absolutely no problem with going around saying the word "hell."

But that is probably because we were Baptist ;-)