She’s Not Talking Yet! (And I couldn’t give a hoot!)
Lucy is 22 months old. She is on the very brink of being a “talker”. She has quite a few words that she says with ease – Mama, Dadda, bubble, pool, bot-bot (yay for big brother huh?). But she’s not “talking” as such.
And in typical last baby fashion, I am embracing every last moment of her “non-verbalness”. I know that this is yet again a last moment of babydom, that once it has gone, it is gone forever, and I am reminded that my toddler will soon become a little girl.
So right now I am making the most of how she communicates with her entire body. There is so much joy and passion that comes from having to make yourself heard without words. One of the more obvious signs is tantrums because non-verbal children get so frustrated by not being able to say what they are feeling. I have signed with all my babies in an attempt to ease this frustration. I never leaned any formal sign language nor took any courses, and in hindsight I’ve probably used different sign for different babies. But like most things, we just bumbled along until we found a mutual language that we both understand.
Because she is older and because she has so much she wants to say, Lucy has an incredible signing vocabulary. I was trying to do a mental-list of everything she signs for and was amazed at how much she knows. For example she can ask for milk, or water, or for something to eat. She can tell me if she is hot or cold, when she wants a cuddle, or wants to be held. She can tell me if someone is sleeping and if we should be quiet. She can tell me about her day and if she fell over and whether she hurt herself, and how she did it (these make me laugh because she just about re-creates the entire scene which of course often leads her to do the exact thing that hurt her, again!). She can ask for “just one more”, she can count to 10, she can say stop I don’t it I don’t like it.
She can tell me if it’s raining or sunny, she giggles when we she tells me about splashing in puddles, or the pool or the beach. She asks her brothers and sisters if she can carry their bag, or their hat or their drink bottle. She tells me that she loves me (and tells her dolls the same thing). She can express her like (or dislike) for the meals I put in front of her and she has beautiful manners with please and thank-you. She tells me if she is sad, or tired, or hurt, or scared. She can give me the thumbs up if something is great and she throws her hands in the air with joy if we ask her “who wants to do something fun?”. She says sorry if she hurts someone, and brings me books when she wants me to read to her.
There are so many ways that she can express her feelings, her thoughts and ideas. I feel like it is such a pure and wonderful way for her to communicate with us. She is not limited by words. She doesn’t have to search for the perfect expression to convey her emotions – she just IS that emotion. Her energy, her joy, her light fills the room. And her cheekiness, and her terrible-twoness, leaves me rushed off my feet and exhausted and exhilarated.
But I love it – every single moment of it.
And I love her with every ounce of my body.
So I’m happy to wait a little longer for her to talk. At the moment I am savouring the babyness and spirit of my non-talker for as long as I can.
**** Please note: All children are different and develop at different rates, so don’t be overly concerned if your toddler is acquiring new skills at a different rate to those around him. But if you are worried about his development or it seems to have stalled or be going backwards, talk to a health professional. You can see more about Language Development for 1-2 Year Olds HERE ***