Friday, December 28, 2007

The things he says...

For a long time, Ethan wasn't very verbal. He babbled at the *right* time and he managed a "mamamama" and a "dadadada" right on cue, and with his daddy obsession (whatever), he's been chanting "dada" for months and months. But other than "dada", there was a long stretch of time when "vroom vroom" (the noise, not the words) and "guh-gah" ("kitty" in Ethanese) were the only words he said.

I sat and watched as my girlfriends' children (all younger than Ethan and all girls, who I know are chatty much earlier) started saying "baby" and "please" before a year old. One of the girls is now working on her dissertation, I believe.

I tried to pretend it didn't bother me that kids 3 and 4 months younger than him were waxing poetic about mama and babies and balls, while Ethan pointed and said, "guh-gah" at any cat that walked by, but there were days when I drove home from play group with Ethan's lack of language weighing heavily on my mind.

I read a lot about a language explosion between 15-18 months, so I waited patiently. There was no explosion. We continued to hear a lot of "dada" "vroom vroom" and "guh-gah".

I will admit that one day I opened up the Mayo Clinic website's autism page and had myself breathing into a brown paper bag within a matter of seconds, completely convinced my child was living in that world. I watched like an OCD hawk for signs of interaction and name recognition until I had to just tell myself to chill the fuck out. Anyone who's spent more than 5 minutes with Ethan knows that he's not autistic, but just wasn't talking.

But here we are, about a week shy of 20 months and Ethan cannot stop the words. He now says a fully recognizable "kitty", "mami" and "papi" (in addition to mama and dada), "all done" "eat" "eye" "ear" "car" "choo-choo" "tree" "leche" "agua" "puppy" "bye bye" "hi" "Emi" (his aunt), "puzzle" "muffin" "egg" "cheese" "please" "thank you" "yummy" and I know I am leaving a ton out, as he repeats every third word out of my mouth (which is why I make sure only the first and second words are obscenities).

I realize these are not feats of genius. I realize that these are tiny words and he's not yet embarked upon his Master's thesis or anything like that. Perhaps and 20 months he *should* be saying more. Eh. Whatever.

I find that I'm far more willing to let go of the "should"s these days. I'm too busy basking in the sound of Ethan's voice.


Amy said...

That is so awesome! Just wait until you can't shut him up and you'll look back on those days with nostalgia.

Becca said...

That is so great! I have a lot to look forward to.

Ethan learned "leche"? Uh oh, that's our secret code word for milk so we can talk over his head. Maybe I'll have to learn French.

KMW said...

Great news! It's crazy how easy it is to stress about this stuff--I think everyone does it. Yes..the "shoulds" have gotten me too. I always have to remind myself to let go. Great for Ethan!

miraclebaby said...

Don't you love the new words?

Sarah said...

I think toddlers saying please and thank you is just the cutest damn thing! I will give my kid anything if he says please (actually, he typically says thank you for "please," "thank you," and "you're welcome," but whatever-- it works for me!)

Don't they have the cutest little voices??