Friday, February 12, 2016

Taking her time..

On Tuesday this little girl turned 14 months.

She just started walking, and she doesn't say much other than "Hi!" And she says that to everyone and everything....including pictures and stuffed animals.

This sweet little girl is just so quiet, and I'm stuck here feeling guilty that maybe she's left behind a lot of the time. As a baby she was just so go-with-the-flow that I toted her around everywhere and she barely made a peep. To play dates, and Girl Scouts, to the park and karate practice.

Of course we played with her and read to her and there was plenty of snuggle time, but compared to her older brother and sister, her babyhood was much different.

When Julie was a baby, I was a bit neurotic. I think maybe I was trying to prove myself as a stay-at-home mom. But I was obsessed with her learning everything. At her 1 year appointment I proudly informed the doctor that Julie could say 73 words that we could understand. The doctor, unimpressed didn't play into my psychoses. By the time she was 18 months, my Julie could identify every letter of the alphabet, shapes, colors, numbers, and by 2 years old she could say all the letter sounds and had been talking in sentences for a while. And, yes I was one of those annoying moms who delighted when her kid showed off her skills in public. "Look my toddler knows every letter in the alphabet!" Sorry to whoever I knew back then.

Anyway, when Johnny came around, and he was only saying a couple dozen words at 15 months, I freaked. What was I doing wrong? I called an early intervention agency where we lived in Pennsylvania. After an evaluation, they assured me my son was "normal" but they agreed to visit us once a month and work with him for free. Though he wasn't as verbal as his big sister, Johnny, I soon discovered, was an excellent puzzle solver and builder, and he loved to put things together.

He's almost 7, and of course he's talking just fine. In fact it was only a couple months after that first visit, that he became almost as chatty as Julie. That experience made me realize how kids grow and learn so differently and at different paces, and they each have different strengths.

With Josie, our third baby, I know I just have to be patient and let her develop at her own pace. Though I've matured and chilled a bit, I still have a bit of neurotic mom in me. Am I doing enough? Does she need help? In fact I called the local early intervention agency to evaluate Josie just in case she does need help. Of course when I told Scott, he just rolled his eyes. See...he knows how I am!
Deep down, I do know she's fine. She's just taking her time, and I have to be OK with that.

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