Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hot and Wet

That title will surely bring the perverts out in droves but, alas perverts! This is not the site you're looking for. If you're looking for websites dedicated to buxom women frolicking in hot tubs please keep searching. Because what I'm referring to is my daughter's favorite new words. Hot and Wet. Never used in conjunction, but separately and often nonetheless.

A year ago when I cuddled and snuggled an infant Chicky Baby I had thoughts of what her first words would be: Dada, Mama, Baby, Dog, Cat, Bye Bye, that kind of stuff. Well, so far she does say Dada and Mama, Baby (actually, it's more like "Bubbah". My child 's dolls apparently all hail from Arkansas.) and Bye. But will she say dog or cat? Not even if you hold her down and scream those words in her face for a half an hour.... Uh, I'm assuming. Then again she's surrounded by dogs and cats so they're no big deal, it's not like she runs around saying chair or table.

Right? That's why she won't refer to these animals as anything but "Go" and "Git". Right?

But this is not about her inability or unwillingness to say those particular words, it's about her overall inability or unwillingness to say most words. Frankly, I'm a little worried about her development and though the rational side of my brain is screaming "She's still really young! There's plenty of time for her to learn to talk! When she does start to talk you'll be wishing she would shut up! You're being a stressbag! A freak mama! You're a cliche!!!!", the stressbag/freak mama side of me is winning out. I want my baby to talk. I need her to talk. Not just to help us communicate. I want to know that her development is on track.

Maybe it's the company we keep; we're often around other toddlers around the same age as Chicky who have extensive vocabularies, some who are speaking in full sentences. Their words are clear, their meaning heard and understood, while I'm still trying to decipher what my own child is trying to say. Are these freakishly advanced children? Is there something in the water around here? Because Chicky refuses to drink much water, but I'll force it down her throat if I have to.

I've heard from friends (and some of you here) that their children didn't speak until they were 2 or 3 years old. My husband's uncle didn't speak until he was just over 3 years of age and he's a genius. But this is cold comfort to the woman whose child can't say "ball" at almost 20 months.* The child who insists on calling Elmo "La La", and milk "Wah Wah". I know she's still a baby and she'll catch up, I do know this in my heart of hearts, but it's frustrating and sadly I'm starting to take it personally. She's a smart girl, she understands everything I say to her and can complete simple tasks if I tell her to do something once, so obviously I'm not doing something to help her development.

Yes, somehow I've made this whole thing about me. How do you like that?



* She calls a ball "Bah Bah", her baby "Bubbah", a book "Buh buh". A bit confusing, no?

39 comments:

The Zero Boss said...

There's a chain of bakeries in NYC called "Hot and Crusty". Whenever my wife and I saw that, we'd break out in perverted giggles.

Yes, we're bad people. But we *embrace* that.

Heather Bea said...

Don't worry about her. Our youngest took a little while to talk, we figure it was because our oldest did all the talking for her. Now at almost 30 months she is a chatty cathy doll, can't get her to be quiet. She is talking or singing, or making up stories. You really have to give them time because before you know it she won't stay quiet.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

I remember when SF started talking. I felt so much more comfortable about our relationship. We could actually communicate!!! It was like a whole new door opening up...Don't worry, She'll get there...Then more words will be popping up and you won't even be able to keep track. Enjoy her first words...They'll sound different once she starts talking regularly and you'll miss the buh buh!!!!

Kate said...

There must be something about the sound of "B" -- my son called his favorite blanket "bay-bay", and his pacifier "bee". That always confused the hell out of my mom who could never get the 2 straight.

It took my son forever to start talking coherently, and then when he did he hasn't stopped - he is currently 5. So there's plenty of time for conversation - the other day my son asked me, "Do chickens poop?" So that's what you have to look forward to when speech gets perfected.

ewe are here said...

I understand how you feel. Our boy turned 19 months old this weekend and most children his age - girls primarily - seem to have a huge vocabulary. But I was told not to be concerned about his being slow to really 'talk' because, like Chicky, he clearly understands absolutely everything we tell him and follows instructions (when he chooses) without any difficulty.

He likes animal sounds, tho'; you might try it with Chicky because it's fun and it is communicating.... If you ask him what a horse says, he'll say 'neigh neigh'; cow, he'll say 'moo moo'.... He knows lots of animals. He even meows at kitties. ;-)

bubandpie said...

It strikes me as a good sign that she's interested in adjectives - she may not say much, but what she does say is full of grammatical complexity!

And I have to point out - when I tried to click over here from Bloglines I got a message saying "Error: You are not allowed to access 'Hot and Wet' from this server." I thought for a second you actually had converted this into a p*rn blog!

Christina said...

Sounds like she's right on track to me. Cordy picked up only a few words at first. New words seemed to come in groups. Now she's suddenly bursting out in sentences. Maybe Chicky is just a child who likes to show off her new talents in waves?

scribbit said...

Sounds like she has a highly refined ear for linguistics :)

radioactive girl said...

All of my kids were early talkers, but started talking gradually. My best friend's son didn't start talking for a really long time, but then had full sentences right away. Maybe she's saving up to dazzle you all at once someday soon.

jen said...

M can't speak much yet either. But her little buddies come up to me and recite passages from Proust and whatnot and yes, it gives me pause.

i think it all rolls out fine in the end (that's my story and I am sticking to it)

meme done. for you.

ali said...

if it makes you feel better, Isabella's first word was hot dog. :)

Crunchy Carpets said...

Caity really didn't start to make sense (and mostly she still doesn't) till after she hit two and then everything exploded!

Just watch and see.

She still prefers to point and grunt with us determindly telling her to use her words!

IAI said...

My kid is freakishly advanced. Freakishly. Full sentences in proper grammatical form at 9 months. Again, freakishly. However, she did not walk until 14, almost 14.5 months. I was, gasp, driven to tears at one point. Then one day she got up and ran. Yeah, she never actually walked ...

Anyway, I hear this a lot: "Early talker, late walker. Early walker, late talker." In my experience, it holds true. We routinely see 8,9 and 10 month olds running around without verbalizing anything. Then one day @15 months, there's a verbal explosion.

The other thing to consider is if you're not letting her talk. For example, if you know she wants something by her pointing and whatnot and then just give it to her, she almost gets lazy and doesn't feel it necessary to verbalize.

Or, more likely, she's just hording all those great words she hears and one day you'll wake up to:

"Mommy, I'd prefer that vintage port this morning."

mothergoosemouse said...

Tacy was similar to IAI's GC, although not quite as freakish. But extremely verbal at a very early age - like identifying all the letters in the alphabet at 18 months.

Meanwhile, CJ is just past 22 months and is still channeling Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor. Oooohh...aaahhhhhh...grrrrrr. An occasional "Mommy". Lots of "Bobby" (which means she wants SpongeBob). She wouldn't know a letter if one fell on her head.

But she can throw away your empty beer bottle if you ask her to.

Chicky Baby is doing fabulously well. Really and truly. I keep telling myself the same about CJ. And Christina's post about how Cordy's language exploded around her second birthday reassured me.

beth said...

My goodness I could have written this myself, but with a slightly different vocab repertoire for my child. I totally empathize, I often make Sam's speech development about me, I often freak. We spend time with others Sam's age that have tons of words and are totally able to communicate with their parents. I can tell you that Sam's docotr assured me that she wouldn't even begin to worry about him unless he had no words yet by age 2, and then she'd start to look deeper into it. I'm sure you were told the same, and we both know it doesn't matter because we just want our damn kids to talk.

mo-wo said...

It is about you... Toddler's are a pain as it is without some missing communications support to compound it. I think you better retain a psychic for your psyche's sake. It ain't fun.

SHE IS FINE. Worry wart. You can't have it all. But the no talk sucks for Mom, yeah

creative-type dad said...

My daughter has been trying to say words for awhile now. She's even trying to put some together - and she's just about 17-months.

I hope that doesn't mean she'll be a flight attendant later in life, if kids who speak at 3 year become rocket scientist.

BTW- where are the women in hot tubs?

Anonymous said...

My daughter seemed to be born talking, while my son took his time to start. All kids are different and yours will talk when he has something to say.

Hooked on Doll Houses

CPA Mom said...

My kids are both expressive speech delayed. Tigger was also comprehensive speech delayed. Our city has an Early Intervention program where they come out to your house and play with your kids and evaluate if they really are behind or right on track (to weed out us mommy's that obsess on if they are where they need to be). You only pay what you can (they base it on your tax return) and you can even appeal that. If you want more information, you can email me. cpamomvaathotmaildotcom

That said, she is probably PERFECTLY normal and will talk in complete sentences next week. :-)

Amber said...

My daughter's first words were not mama or dada but Ajax. The freakin' neighbor's dog.

I did baby sign language with her, which I think helped her speak early, something I regret to this day... :-)

petite gourmand said...

lulu's first word was birdie.
she's a nature lover what can I say?
she's been pretty chatty as of late, but is waaaayyy behind in getting her teeth.
only 2 on the bottom and 6 on top.
I try not to get too worked up about it, but that's easier said than done.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 boys and my oldest spoke very much like that at 20 months. He was able to say the words that you mentioned but not much more. I could make out some of the words he was saying but a lot of them sounded mumbled. I worried a lot about it because all the children we knew around his age could talk very well. At his 2 year visit we decided to have his hearing tested by an ENT. It turned out he had fluid in his ear and needed tubes. He was hearing everything like you would hear if you were under water. He had to start speech therapy to catch up. By the time he turned 5 he was caught up and no longer needed it. Anyway, I would talk to your pediatrician if it is worrying you.

Jessica

T. said...

Alright Ms. Chicky, you are forcing me to break out the big words here.

Sounds to me she is on par. Her receptive language skills are obviously above average and her expressive langauge skills sound just where they should be.

Are you going a bit competive-mommy on us?

Alas, you are in good company. I actually marched my daughter (yes, I made her march) to the pediatrician and a speech therapist when she was 27 months old, because I didn't like what I was hearing.

Which, to be fair, wasn't a whole lot.

They laughed in my face and told me when she had something to say to me, she'd talk.

Now I can't get her to shut up.

Now, the Bug is a different story.

But then, that's about me now, isn't it. And this is YOUR blog.

Good luck. And you can always tie her into a high chair for hours at a time, show her the dog and yell dog in her face. I've heard that works too.

But then, you gotta wonder, how much money are you actually willing to shell out for her therapy sessions?

lildb said...

my theory (dude, of course I have to have one) is that they make up words for stuff, because they're super smart *and* already rebellious, so they'd rather have their own unique language to describe the things in their world than use our boring adult versions.

how much do you want to bet that I'm on the money with this one? or at least close?

Binkytown said...

Its so hard not to PANIC all the time at this stage when our kids don't necessarily meet milestones when we think they should. Mine started saying words right at his 12 month birthday - hope that makes you feel better.

Velma said...

There used to be a sub shop across from my husband's office that had a big sign saying, "You can't beat our meat!"

My girl talked clearly at 10 months, but didn't walk (or even crawl) until 15 months. My son was up and walking at 10 months, and had very few words at 3 years. On one hand, I agree with the idea that every kid does things differently from every other kid, but on the other hand (having a speech delayed child who is currently receiving speech therapy), I also encourage anyone who has concerns to call Early Intervention for an assessment. They see lots of kids and can give you a better idea of how she is doing than you can get from comparing her to other kids you know.

I wish we had started the assessments earlier, not because he isn't catching up beautifully, but because being a toddler is hard enough without adding in communication problems. If he had been getting speech therapy earlier, I think we all would have had an easier time over the last few years.

carrie said...

I think Chicky Baby needs to write her own language, and then you could write the book and then babies and toddlers nationwide would be speaking her "speak" and you'd be on Oprah, and famous and...

I know, you've heard it all before, but it will get easier!

Carrie

Lena said...

Oh, how I looove me some baby talk. I cried when Savannah stopped calling flamingos "fuzzy mangoes".

I think there is some truth to the thought that your child will stronger either physically or verbally initially. Savannah didn't walk until she was 14 months, but talked at 4 months. Does that help?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Mom101 said...

There's no way to offer real consolation when your fears are all visceral and your emotions trump reason. I felt the same way when Thalia didn't walk until nealry 16 months.

But you have to put your nervous stomach on the back burner and think about this with your head if you can - it's normal. She's normal. She's progressing. She's probably picking up new phonemes and consonants by the week.

I await the post in a few months (or years - no rush) that tell us just what an eloquent orator she's become. Just like her mama.

MrsFortune said...

Yeah well I'm not going to tell you not to worry, the same way I wouldn't tell someone with OCD not to take a shower. Or something. Because mommy worry like this eats me up inside on a daily basis, and the kiddo's only 7 months old. Have her evaluated? Then you could start to put your fears to rest. Or do something about it if they are really worth it!

whymommy said...

Hang in there, Mrs. Chicky. I have a late talker too. Mine said three words at 9 months, but lost them all when he learned to walk at 12 months, and is only just gaining them back a year later. Now he's got 75+ words and puts them together into 3-5 word sentences. It was a long time coming, but it is beautiful. Your time will come. Just keep encouraging her and loving her and she will be fine.

Oh, and a concrete tip? Be sure to give her time to respond to questions. A lot of time. Like a minute or more if she needs it. Don't get frustrated, and don't apologize for her not talking to strangers. It may feel rude, but both tips will help her gain the confidence she needs to speak. It made a difference for us.

PS I'm a new reader here and don't yet know -- but have you tried simple signs? There are a few (like more, and rain) that my son picked up right away and uses to this day. That might help you guys get through this....

Sparky Duck said...

Maybe shes practicing for the teen years?

Mommy off the Record said...

Little Guy sounds exactly like Chicky Baby. He is 17 months and doesn't speak nearly as much as his little friends do. I wonder about it sometimes, but I haven't really worried about it (yet). He definitely understands what's going on, and like Chicky Baby, he can follow commands and can point to lots and lots of objects when I name them so he understands words - he just doesn't speak them much yet.

It's frustrating, but I'm not *too* worried yet. I just keep telling myself that Einstein was a late talker too!

Ruth Dynamite said...

She's perfectly fine and normal and will speak the Queen's English when she feels like it. If she's 16 and still saying bah bah for ball, it'll either be very cute or time to worry.

Lawyer Mama said...

My son is 26 months old. Chicky Baby is about exactly where he was at 20 months. I was seriously freaking out until about 2 weeks before his 2nd birthday when all of this stuff just started coming out of his mouth. And now it won't stop. I can tell you not to worry, but I know it won't help. I know kids who were speaking in full, clearly enunciated sentences at 2 as well. But yes, those are the exception to the rule. They are freakishly advanced for their age. I hope this helps just the tiniest little bit!

kittenpie said...

You know, Pumpkinpie didn't really say much clearly until about 18-20 months, and then blossomed like crazy. She is incredibly clear now, a little weirdly so. Sometime it just take time.

mrs. incredible said...

It is not considered an 'issue' that children aren't speaking until two years of age. My first child spoke 'late' and when he did, it was full-on sentences. My daughter, however, that has her big brother to model after - has been speaking for as long as I can remember.
Seriously though - 2 is the magic number here. I'd be aware, keep an eye on her. And it is a good sign that her receptive language (the language she hears & comprehends) is good. It's just that the rest has to 'catch up'. NO worries, mommy :)

mrs.incredible said...

In our state, when a child is 3, they can receive services through our school district. But there are early intervention services...AGAIN...they won't really do anything until 2, unless there is a cognitive delay diagnosis. So, it depends on your state & how they handle it. Something maybe worth looking into just for your own knowledge.

personally speaking said...

Your child's way of interaction with you may be affected by the environment surrounding her. Maybe many of you are not talking so much that's why she was able to talk that much either. Personal aspect in your family can create this kind of attitude to your child.