Parenting: Doomed To A Lifetime Of Worrying!

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Last night I sent out an SOS to all the parents on Twitter about something I’ve been worrying about for a while now….

When Ava was 11 months old, she sat on my lap on a plane, turned to me, wagged her finger in my face and said: “No no no Mamma!” and we’ve not been able to shut her up every since.

I remembered, with her, worrying about when she’d actually walk…. she did eventually just before she turned 15 months.

Hannah has been the complete opposite, walking at 9 months, I remember being astounded with her first few steps, she was so young. She has achieved almost all of her physical milestones early, except for this one, which I now find myself stressing and worrying about.

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She’s 16 months old and doesn’t talk! Or rather, she talks non-stop but pretty much none of it makes any sense to me. She can shout for her Mamma and her Dadda and has been calling Ava for a long time now, but nothing else, or at least nothing else that I can understand.

Two nights ago, she was sitting in her high chair eating her supper, when she got this big grin on her face and as clear as day she said: “Hello!” but since then nothing again, except a constant streamย of baby babble. She can tell really long, expressive stories, complete with hand motions and the works, but none of it I can understand.

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Ava claims to understand her, she says she’s talking “baby English” and she’ll often interpret for me what it is that Hannah is asking for/wanting/needing. She’ll tell me, Hannah wants a cuddle, Hannah wants juice, Hannah wants you to stay with her, Hannah wants you to sit with her etc. But honestly, I thought she was just making this stuff up, because I sure as hell don’t understand a word out of Hannah’s mouth.

I know some people have suggested getting her hearing checked, but honestly I don’t believe it’s that at all. She comes when I call her and follows instructions, even when they’re given from a distance away, so she can definitely hear and understand but for whatever reason, she’s choosing not to speak. Another reason I know that she can hear and I guess most parents of younger children will understand this… is because she can “sing” (in “baby English”) all the words to Frozen’s “Let It Go!” perfectly in tune, just not in any words we can understand!

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A friend of mine who works in the parenting field suggested that perhaps she’s just not talking because there is no need for her to, all of her needs are being met, especially as a second child with an older sibling acting as interpretor for her and that in time, she’d get over herself and start talking. I’m starting to think this is the most logical explanation for Hannah’s lack of clear communication.

The worrying never ends does it? It doesn’t matter what they do or don’t do, when they do it or don’t do it, I’m really starting to believe that all things regardless, as a parent, you’re simply doomed to a lifetime of worry!

 

July 10, 2014
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25 Comments

  • Reply Amy Westerman

    Ah Sharon, I can so relate to this. Thank you for this post! Erin couldn’t say anything until about 18 months. I took her to an OT and she said it was because of her dummy (which she still has now). She is now 2 years old and speaks so so well, and also says many Zulu words. I really think it’s nothing to be worried about but I totally hear you, all us mothers do is WORRY. I look forward to a blog post shortly about everything Hannah is saying ๐Ÿ™‚ Kids are the BEST and we can learn so much from them! Bless her!

    July 10, 2014 at 10:44 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Thanks Amy!

      July 10, 2014 at 11:04 am
  • Reply annty17

    My son was born a day before Hannah and he is exactly the same. Understands everything, sings ‘Twinkle Twinkle” in tune in baby babble but just doesn’t say the words or more like he says it if he feels like. I too was very worried and was told exactly the same thing by a friend whose nephew is the same age and is a second child. I have decided to stop pushing him and he will say the words when he is ready. Also, I think that is has something to do with them having such bad FOMO and being so busy all the time that taking the time to form actual words is too time consuming for them. We have had his ears checked btw and that’s definitely not the problem

    July 10, 2014 at 10:45 am
  • Reply love, kids and other things

    The worry never ends, just the things you worry about. My eldest is off to Knysna on a roadtrip today, so that in itself is a worry. While my worries for the other 3 are totally different.

    July 10, 2014 at 10:46 am
    • Reply Sharon

      OMG! A roadtrip??? Nooo!

      July 10, 2014 at 11:04 am
  • Reply annty17

    Also, a lady at work told me that children are either verbal or physical so some will walk quicker than they can speak. My son walked at 11 months and if my memory serves me well, Hannah walked very early as well.

    July 10, 2014 at 10:48 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Hannah walked at 9 months, so ja, very early!

      July 10, 2014 at 11:04 am
  • Reply Immeasurable love

    You know I was actually thinking about this topic this morning. Around this time last year I was worried about exactly the same thing with J. Now he is the biggest chatter box ever and we have come to the conclusion that J does things when J wants to. Its not that he can’t do them….he just chooses to show us in his own time.

    I am with you as far as the worry goes though. It feels like it will never end.

    July 10, 2014 at 11:06 am
  • Reply Nikki Heyman

    I’ve learnt over the years that a parent’s gut instinct must never be dismissed but checking out everything if there is a concern is also important. The comment about needing to talk is often the cause of not communicating. The fact that she is communicating with babbling etc. and a has a few words means she is still within the norm so stop panicking. Perhaps this will help http://talkingtalk.co.za/help-my-toddler-isnt-talking/ and feel free to call me Sharon any time! ๐Ÿ™‚

    July 10, 2014 at 11:06 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Thanks Nikki!

      July 10, 2014 at 11:32 am
  • Reply Pandora

    My nephew, a second child, didn’t speak till he was nearly 2 and a half, he managed very well with pointing to what he wanted and babbling. Once he started though, he never stopped and became a real little know it all, ready to argue with you over every little thing! Still does at nearly 18.
    I do agree though, a lifetime of worry lies ahead.

    July 10, 2014 at 11:12 am
  • Reply Melinda

    Kala is almost 21 months and does not talk. I am not concerned. She is a smart little girl that understands every thing we say. She will talk when she is ready….

    July 10, 2014 at 11:16 am
  • Reply Robyn

    I used to freak out because Liam practically came out of the womb talking and Hannah didn’t talk until much later. I still think it was because she had a dummy. Between removing the dummy and sending her to school (just so happened that these two things happened at the same time) her speech went from zero to hero almost overnight. I wouldn’t worry. xx

    July 10, 2014 at 11:57 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Thanks but you know I probably will anyway? ๐Ÿ™‚

      July 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm
  • Reply amberdaddyandmummy

    My daughter started talking around 13 months, little boy is now 18 months and is just slowly starting. They do tend to “talk” less if they have dummies I find, she didnt have hers from 6 months old, he is still in love with his. I try to take it away during the day if I can. However honestly him not talking yet is not a worry to me. Second children are often faste with physical development as they learn from theIir siblings, but slower with speach as the sibling tends to speak for them. Amber is nearly 4, and she apparently totally understands what her baby brother says, even though its just babble to me! Try not to let it worry you, once Hannah starts she probably won’t stop, oh and also, Einstein only started talking when he was 4! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    July 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    My kids both had dummies and both spoke early – so I don’t think that is a factor. Wanted to say a) Einstein apparently only spoke at 4! but also because she walked early – also very common to have delayed other milestones – and I don’t think she’s late in speech at all. For other moms reading here too – the big thing the experts all say is if your child can’t follow instruction – ‘ta mommy her keys’ for example -this points to a problem more than a speech delay. It is always worth checking her ears though x

    July 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm
  • Reply Andrea

    I may not have a kid, but I myself only started talking when I was 2 (and haven’t shut up since). My parents were very concerned I had some problem but realized it was because of my older brother. He did everything for me, brought things to me and ran after me – there was no need for me to talk. And I think Hannah is the same. The fact that she has said ‘Hello’ and is vocal is a good thing, and I’m sure it’ll come with time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    July 10, 2014 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply wannabepoet

    No, the worrying never ends! As a precaution, I would still get Hannah’s ears checked by an ENT, simply because my daughter went through something similar, although I picked it up at just over 13 months old, where she was talking non-stop, but no one could understand her. I could understand her, but that was because I spent so much time with her. We ended up at the ENT who suggested grommets as he could see infection etc and the difference was remarkable! Within hours of waking up from the op, Morgan-Lee was speaking, and we ALL could understand her! The ENT compared her hearing to her being under water; she could hear but it was muffled due to the various ear infections that she’d had in her first year of life. The infections were so bad, that the ENT said if we didn’t do the grommet op when we did, there was a very strong possibility of total hearing loss in her one ear, and partial hearing loss in her other ear! Very scary times!

    I’m in no way saying that’s what it is, it’s just that it sounds similar to what we went through. But as you said at the end of your post, because you and Walter are such awesome parents, and Ava is the best big sister, all of Hannah’s needs are being met and she has no need to verbally express herself? It is a very valid point ๐Ÿ™‚

    All of the best!

    July 10, 2014 at 3:39 pm
  • Reply Beth

    My son only started talking close to 3. He matriculated with 93% and is a qualified mechanical engineer. He still doesn’t like talking much!

    Like you, I was v worried at the time and spent a fortune on assessing him. I was told he would talk when he was ready, and all his other skills were way above average.

    July 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Heather

    Nicky started babbling at 15 months. He does say the odd word here and there but honestly, really not much. I think there’s more of a worry if he still can’t talk at 3. I worried about the walking thing too. Looks like we will always worry no matter what!

    July 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm
  • Reply Tamra Sykes

    Love reading your blog! I can definitely relate as I remember worrying about James’s lack of interest in talking when he was little. I can’t believe how much his speech has improved over the last year though.

    Now I have a little girl who seems to have found her voice early on (at least in screams, grunts and moans). Something tells me she won’t have any problem expressing her opinion early on. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am seeing all the moms on Twitter with their little girls around Micayla’s age – some sitting, some trying to crawl already, etc. and here is my 7.5 month old not in the slightest bit interested in crawling yet (like her brother did at her age). She won’t even sit by herself!!

    Been worrying about it for a few weeks so this post has really helped me.
    It amazes me how one child comes along and you think you have this thing figured out, only to have the second one come and test everything you thought you knew!! So far they have been pretty much the opposite in everything – from milestones, sleeping habits, eating preferences, etc.

    I guess motherhood is a continual learning, teaching, growing, experiencing, worrying, amazing journey!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    July 11, 2014 at 7:13 am
  • Reply Mrs FF

    As a mom if your instincts tell you to worry, then do just that and take action. There might be nothing wrong but there might also be something wrong. I would get her checked out just to rule out anything. One thing I do know if that kids develop at different levels. My hubby’s niece only started making sense to most people at 4.5years and she is a first child and didn’t have any sibling until she was 4.

    July 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm
  • Reply Lisbe

    I always try to remember how much these little ones must learn in such a short time. They cant learn it all at once, so while some babies are working on the talking, Hannah was working on the walking ๐Ÿ˜‰

    July 14, 2014 at 11:38 am
    • Reply Sharon

      I do think Hannah is too busy being physically active to worry about talking just yet!

      July 14, 2014 at 12:01 pm

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