Dear !@$!# Baby,
At your last doctor visit in January, we were told to schedule an appointment if you weren’t saying any true words by May or so. Well, buddy, we are mostly through April and you still don’t speak.
You communicate, for sure. You know and use the signs for eat, more, please, nap and poop. You can make the sounds of cars, trains (even though it sounds like a monkey), helicopters, airplanes and vacuums. You imitate dogs, cats, monkeys (even though it sounds like a train), birds, seals, ducks, lions, sheep, mice and bears. You know your head, ears, eyes, hair, chin, cheeks, mouth, nose, eyes, elbows, hands, knees, feet, fingers, hands, toes, belly and butt. You know what the five senses are. You can imitate snoring. You know when to clap your hands, stomp your feet or smile when a song tells you to.
Clearly, you can learn. Clearly, you can hear. Clearly, you can be a smart cookie.
But cookie, in your world, is a very enunciated “DaDa”. Not to be confused with the Dad version of Dada, which is quicker and with softer d’s. Also not to be confused with what I think is your version of “that” which is a very quick “Da!”. Ba is book, boat or ball. Baba is bubble, baba ba is bubble bath, and I am for whatever reason “fafa” when asked. Unless you’re exceptionally whiny and then I get an exceptionally whiny maaamaaaaaa. I am seriously thankful you seem to have abandoned (for the most part) the continuous grunts that drove me absolutely batshit.
I see kids your age and younger not only speaking, but pairing words and using phrases. I know every kid is different and I shouldn’t compare, but it’s sort of impossible not to. And a lot of the time, I don’t wonder what’s wrong with you but what I may have done.
So if I somehow stunted your development, I’m sorry. If I didn’t talk to you enough in the earliest of days because I didn’t know what to say, I’m sorry. If we didn’t socialize you early enough, I’m sorry. If it’s because you didn’t have to go to daycare and that type of environment, I’m sorry – but that’s actually Dad’s fault, he said I didn’t have to go back to work. If it’s because we didn’t go to Gymboree-type classes, I’m not sorry because that shit is expensive and you lock up or limp noodle (and sometimes, somehow, BOTH AT ONCE) every time I try to move your limbs for you and just no. That wouldn’t have worked out for anyone.
If my own issues last year kept us a little isolated, I’m sorry. I know there were a lot of days we just stayed at home because I just didn’t want to face the world and I have to apologize to both of us for that.
If I should have been reading to you constantly instead of only four times a day, I’m sorry. If it’s because you introduced you to TV and let you watch it, I’m sorry. If it’s because we listen to Tom Petty and Eminem and Avenged Sevenfold in the car instead of Raffi, I’m sorry. If it’s because I didn’t sing to you much, I’m not sorry because I’m tone deaf and you’re still better for not having to be exposed to that.
If it’s that repetition cheese grates my nerves after ten rounds, I’m sorry. My patience just can’t handle more than “dog. dog. dog. dog. dog. dog. dog. dog. dog. dog. #%!%ing DOG!”.
If it’s that we had no idea what we were doing and we should have gone to more baby classes, I’m sorry. If some days I let you run around and scream or make truck noises because it’s easier than trying to entertain you, I’m sorry.
I’m not going to entirely blame myself because nature is a bitch and growth differs among children, I get that. But if I did ANYTHING over the last 22 months that somehow derailed you or led you on a different course, I really am sorry. I didn’t know.
You’re the first kid. I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m not quite sure I ever will. I do know that there have been times where I thought you were “broken”. I know you aren’t broken. You are smart, you are sweet, you are a destructive, energetic little boy. I know as soon as you start talking it’s all just going to spill out like a kicked over bottle of beer and I’ll be willing you to STFU but I don’t care. I want to HEAR what you want to say, rather than guess it. I want you to TELL me what you want instead of pointing to everything. I want you to chat with me in the car instead of making car sounds because I am, in fact, driving. I want you to not get irritated at me when I try to get you to talk and TRY instead of just giving up whatever it was you wanted and walking away.
I want you to say that you love me instead of making kissy noises in the dark as I leave the room. Although that is pretty much the sweetest thing ever, so after you say you love me once you can go back to blowing kisses if that’s what you prefer.
Just, you know, say something. Say anything, John Cusack, I don’t !#%!#ing care. SAY ANYTHING. You can say, “Look mom, back the F up, I can talk but I just don’t want to right now.” That’s cool. Just show me you can and I’ll back off.