I have heard many stories about siblings and their ability to speak for one another. Usually, people speak about their toddler’s uncanny ability to understand what their infant sibling needs, wants, cries for. This wasn’t really the case in our house – while my son is smart, intuitive, and empathetic towards others, he didn’t do a lot of “translating” when his sister was a baby. Truthfully, it was a good thing. Post partum depression had already made me feel incompetent enough, I think the last thing I could have handled was my 21 month old telling me what the baby needed.
Morgan is an active, smart, 22 month old without any development delays. But in comparison to Jake (yes, bad mama, don’t compare), she has been slower to ‘use her words’. She clearly understands almost everything we say, so I knew something was brewing.
Around her 20th month of life, I was putting her sneakers on. All of the sudden, this little voice said, plain as day, “No, mama. I don’t want those shoes”. A few days later, “No, I want chocolate milk”. Uh yeah. Words are for the bold and brassy little girl, the bold toddler. Whatever happened to words like “ball” and “car” and “doll”?
However, it wasn’t a constant thing. She used these long elaborate sentences when she wanted something, but would use her signs and non verbal cues more frequently than words. Yesterday it all changed. Out of no where, she was sitting in the back of the car, singing, chatting, pointing to objects and announcing their presence. “Tree, guitar, car, truck, garbage, bird, road, stop, light, sign”. Yeah, the words kept coming. She knew the choruses of most of the songs on the kids CD. All of the sudden, she was in a whole new world.
When she was an infant, she’d attempt to say “grandma”. One day she just stopped. We actually surmised back then that she stopped saying it because it was too hard of a word and she didn’t want to say it wrong. Neurotic? Perfectionist? Uh, yeah, she’s her mother’s daughter.
So the talking begins. Oh, and not to be outdone, Jake turned on the 3-year-old chatter as well. Insights into his imagination, which spreads far and wide. From socket wrenches that shot out various objects including witches, deer, music boxes, and toys; to Disney songs where silly words were exchanged for real ones; to stories about his stuffed dog Bailey; the stories went on…and on….and on. From the time Morgan went to bed until the time I left his room – 2 hours later.
It’s no wonder I’m exhausted! But I wouldn’t trade these words for anything.