(Marlowe with Adoration. Kristina’s daughter from Altogether Beautiful)
Marlowe isn’t exactly what I would call a “talker”. She’ll be one and a half years old in just a few short weeks, but she still won’t mutter more than a handful of words (hardly a handful, honestly). Don’t get me wrong, she gets her point across, just without words. I’m completely certain that if she really wanted to talk, she could and would. But she doesn’t. Honestly, behind this screen, I’m not really a talker either (her dad too), more times than not, I’ve heard that at first glance, I come across mean or intimidating, but the reality is: I’m shy and quiet. I’m working on it, no really, I am. Not only do I pay more attention to my *bitch face*, but also, my general shyness has improved tenfolds since having a kid. My mom always jokingly (jokingly, right mom?) worried that I would NEVER talk to Marlowe and she would be some sort of mute. That’s not the case. We chat a lot. I mean, I’ll admitedily say: I won’t ever sing to the girl because I wouldn’t want to scare or traumatize her, but we do talk quite often and we read (not exaggerating) at least 30 books a day. I’ve had one person question why I’m not more worried about her developmental standing when it comes to speaking. I was… um… a bit offended? Babies and kids don’t all learn the same things at the same time. I mean, how creepy, unoriginal, and boring would that be if every kid learned to say “mama” at the same age and day. We all learn things differently, at our own pace, and that doesn’t make one advancement better or worse than another. Yeah, I mean she doesn’t open her mouth to say more, but she communicates really well, she is incredibly smart, and she is excelling in so many other areas. I mean, the girl decided to start walking 3 days after her ten month birthday, she can now pick out just about any animal you ask her about (whether it be in a book, a puzzle, or bin of finger puppets), she can find (or put back) any item in the house you ask her to find (when she wants), and (very scarily) she knows how to pick up my iPhone, slide it to unlock it, go to youtube, and start playing baby einstein videos (you’ve gotta have good coordination for that!), among a million other things. We looked into the baby sign language thing, but after testing out a few videos, I don’t think it’s for us (I would like her to study ASL in the future, but right now doesn’t seem to be the time). We do just fine without the baby sign language and I am certain that in due time, she will be blabbering full sentences. It’ll be like this whole “MOM. I DON’T WANT TO TALK” thing never happened.
Words she says now: “bye”, “dd-dd- bed” (as in telling Jerry to “go to bed!”), “bird”, “woof” (do animal sounds count as a words?), “moo”, and for a short while she said “m-milk”. Lately she has been making more noises that seem like she might be trying to say something, but it’s really hard to tell. Like “Jerry”… sounds more like “Rer-ry”, but she is often patting him when she says it, so I think it counts.
I don’t mind my kid being late to the talking game. She’s got it down everywhere else. And in her own time and speed, she will be caught up in talking too…. or maybe not. She is definitely an observer, and watching her now, I highly doubt she will be shy. But who knows, maybe she will always be the quiet, “weird” kid in the corner drawing and creating away, just taking everything in. That’s okay too. She’s a smart girl and I’m pretty certain she will always excel in being awesome.