Happy second birthday my sweet boy. You are now a bouncing, screaming, defiant little toddler ready to enter the Hell that is the second year of life. Your defiant independent nature is nothing new but I can’t help feel a twinge of utter helplessness when I know what the year may have in store for us. Your tantrums can run upwards of an hour so I’m fearful how much worse it could get. You would think given this is my second go around, I would have a little bit more of a handle on things but you have proven to be every bit different from Olivia that my game plan has changed a thousand times over.
We spent your actual birthday up at Apple Hill picking apples which proved to be a superbly exhausting day for you thus causing us all to want to hurl our bodies from the moving vehicle. You threw a tantrum when you were forced to walk to the car, you threw a tantrum when you dropped your apple, you threw a tantrum when you didn’t want to carry your bucket of apples and then you threw a tantrum when you wanted to carry your bucket of apples. It was just one of those days a parent knows won’t get better until you go to bed. Unfortunately, it had to be your birthday. When we finally made it home, I was too exhausted to make you a birthday cake so I took the cookies from the last favor from your party, put a candle in it and voila, happy birthday to you.
At your recent physical, your pediatrician showed some concern over your budding vocabulary or lack thereof. When she asked if you knew at least fifty words, I nearly laughed out loud. I knew you were lacking in the speech department for some time now but never did I think we were that far behind. You know maybe ten words and even those words are difficult to understand if you’re not me. Your pediatrician then asked if I can understand at least fifty percent of everything you say and that’s certainly not accurate. Continuing on in discussion with your pediatrician regarding your speech and the fact that your vocabulary has not changed much since your eighteen month check-up, she recommended you have a speech evaluation.
We had the speech evaluation yesterday and it was rather straight-forward. Basically the therapist watched you play for an hour and asked various questions and she took lots of notes. In a week or so, I’ll be sent a plan of action based on her findings. Great. I’m intrigued what she proposes but I couldn’t help feel a bit foolish during your evaluation. I don’t think there is anything catastrophically wrong with you. You’re developing leaps and bounds and you understand a great deal you just don’t talk. It’s frustrating for all of us, yes however, I don’t necessarily think it was something that I needed to jump on so quickly. You just turned two for crying out loud. In that moment, I felt like a psychotic over involved parent who feels their child needs to achieve every bullet point in a bringing-up-baby book otherwise there’s going to be a major life-altering problem. It’s upsetting as a mother to hear others brag about how verbose their fourteen month old child is or how someone else’s eighteen month old could recite a Shel Silverstein poem all by themselves when the only words I can make out from you are Momma, Dada, Ya-Ya (Olivia) and no. It’s upsetting because I know you’re smart but people judge and they look at you differently when something is lacking.
You should never compare children but it happens. I think you’re perfect with the exception of your bipolar tendencies so I’m conflicted in my feelings towards this. I would love to rectify this situation promptly to alleviate the frustration in this house but there is also a part of me that wants to let you handle this on your own time. I’m not against seeking help when needed but I also think we’re such a frightened society that is so quick to jump when the slightest problems deviate from the norm that we’re forgetting that we all have our own time frame for learning things. I just know that one day when you’re talking me in to a grave, I will kick myself over and over for even considering there being a problem. You will talk and will probably talk so excessively that I will want to cut off my ears and throw them at you but for the time being, I will deal with your grunts and compulsive crying until you decide you’re ready to learn some words. I will entertain the speech therapy but I have a really strong suspicion that you’re going to be ok.
Obviously, given the setback in your speech, we have shelved the idea of potty-training for now. This is much to my dismay after you scooted down the stairs last night in your diaper leaving a very ripe and very colorful poop streak. Unfortunately for you, you got a very different vocabulary lesson last night. It’s a good thing you’re pretty because I’m not sure I could handle the marathon tantrum sessions and the stinky pants with an ugly kid.
Your second year is off to a bit of a rough start but we’ll power through this and hopefully we make it out with all our limbs and most of our sanity. Nobody said raising a kid was easy nor has anyone said post offices and kids go hand-in-hand which by the way if you ever become a father, avoid the post office with children at all costs. Children can some how sniff out what a miserable place it is and act out accordingly. There’s always an insanely long line filled with miserable people who want nothing more than to see your tantrum throwing child mowed over by a mail truck. Today, I thought the gentleman in front of us was going to smack you with his box. You’re at that age where you find it funny to run away from me as I frantically try to catch you so I either let you go and play the chase game or I hold your flailing body as tight as I can which only makes you scream louder. Personally, I would rather chain you to the bike rack out in the parking lot and I’m pretty sure nobody at the post office would care one bit. Anyways, I digress, happy birthday you manic butt-scooting non-verbal pretty man-boy with locks as golden as the sun. Whether you become a man of many or few words, you will be profoundly loved just the way you are.