Little Q will be 18 months at the end of January. I can't believe how quickly he's gone from being my little baby to being my little toddler. He's so amazingly sweet and loving. His hugs and drooly kisses are an absolute treat. He's developed well over the last 6 months since his last check up. He's incredibly tall and very "hefty". His teeth are almost all in and he uses them well, devouring all food in sight.
But there is one part of his development which has been less on track - his expressive language. It has become painfully obvious that there is something not quite right. Everyone kept telling me he'll grow out of it, or that all kids develop differently, or that one day he'll wake up talking in sentences. But here we are at 18 months and he has yet to say Mama. Or even Ma. Or even a variation on that theme.
He has a word though. UP. And he uses it in correct context. He can also say Dada, but not really with any context. He'll just repeat it to you if you tell him "Say Dada!" He has not used it in reference to his dada nor has he used it on his own without being asked to say it. He can also say "All Done" but it sounds like "Ah Duh". Also used in context.
He is also unable to repeat many sounds you ask him to make. Specifically ones that contain consonants. He can make vowel sounds, with no problem. But slip a consonant in and he doesn't even try to emulate it.
I've really really really tried to not let this get to me. I have. But it just slays me. I find myself communicating with him on a level that is that of an infant even though he is a toddler. I know he understands most everything you say, but when he says nothing in return, I find myself saying less. And using more gestures. And facial expressions. I know I should be doing the exact opposite but it's been hard.
He was assessed for the delay when he was 12 months and tested at the level of a 15 month old for receptive language but at an 8 month level for expressive language. They've ruled out autism. But that's about all. So far, they've only been able to assess that he's behind - not why.
They believe his hearing is fine, although I wonder sometimes how WELL he hears. I know he can hear, but is he hearing things as clearly as he could? I noticed something last night that I never really noticed before. His tonsils are HUGE. So huge that they almost touch in the back of his throat. So huge that they are about 3 times the size of Xaelen's tonsils. Could this mean something? I've scheduled an appointment with an Ear Nose & Throat specialist for next month. Perhaps they could shed more light on it.
In the meantime, I just plug along. I try and have him repeat words, sounds, syllables, anything - but he's just not that interested. I find myself sometimes wanting to cry. I feel like I've failed him somehow, but I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to be doing. With Xaelen, by 18 months, he was speaking in short sentences. He had an extensive vocabulary and repeated everything he heard. Quillan doesn't repeat anything. And his vocabulary I can count on one hand.
But then again, all kids develop differently and maybe I need to just step back and enjoy him for all of his wonderful attributes. But it's hard. I'm his mother and I want him to be the best he can be. So I just continue down this path and I wait to see where it will lead.
I'm really quite elated that 2009 is over. It wasn't necessarily a bad year. I got to go to NY. I got a raise. I got a holiday bonus. My kids grew. I didn't get divorced. I didn't have a nervous breakdown. I lost some weight.
Those were in no particular order, by the way.
But overall, this year was one I'd like to put behind me.
It's been a hard year. Financially, emotionally, mentally.
BUT... coming out of this year in mostly one piece makes me feel like I can tackle almost anything. I do feel wiser. More creative perhaps and certainly more motivated to make positive changes in 2010. So, if anyone cares, I'll share the changes I'm currently working on.
1) I've signed up for a class at a community college - I have a Bachelor's Degree, but I have to admit I miss college to some extent. I love learning new things, feeling like my horizons are expanding, and when you're part of the 9-5 daily grind, you sort of lose touch with that. So, I signed up. And this class serves a dual purpose. I'm actually learning something useful. It's an introduction to interior design class. Let me be clear - I don't want to be an interior designer, but I DO want to learn the basics - space planning, color coordination, that sort of thing. My house could use it!
2) I've ended my "job" of hosting international students. As much as I loved hosting, meeting new people, learning about their culture, and everything that comes with that - I've also really grown exhausted with the responsibility it brings. This year I'm attempting to eliminate excess in my life. Excess responsibilities specifically. I have enough on my plate working full time and being a full time mother and wife. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted from my soul!
3) I've begun the arduous task of de-cluttering my life. I've listed stuff on craigslist & freecycle and have about 12 bags of stuff going to charity. I've been clinging to this stuff for so many years thinking I'll "need" it someday, and you know what? That day doesn't seem to ever come! Instead the "stuff" just seems to multiply like gremlins. Enough already! This is all a work in progress currently, as I still have stuff in random large piles throughout the house (which is quite overwhelming to look at), but I know in the end I will be so thrilled to have done it.
4) I've committed to putting more time in to my disc golf game. I've been playing for about 5 years or so, but never really giving it my all. This year, I'm playing as much as I can. I've signed up for every tournament I could sign up for. In fact, I'm competing every single weekend starting on January 23rd through the end of February. I don't even care if I win, just the mere fact that I'm committing to something that *I* want to do, is fulfilling in itself.
Those are a start. I anticipate many more positive changes this year. So much possibility. Bring it on!
I'm gLobey, also known as Rita, also known as Mama. I'm a married mother of two awesome boys named Xaelen (age 3) and Quillan (9 months). They are super cute! My other half is Adazm, he's quite cute too.