Perhaps one of the most challenging things about having a child in a world regulated by norms, statistics and percentages, is that at every interval, said child is put onto a line and judged as to where he is in relation to others. Not an inherently bad thing, but hearing that your child is in the 25th percentile for height and weight, means that he is not in the upper echelon of giant babies, in fact, he is “below average.” He is not undernourished, unhealthy and there in no cause for concern, but still, we strive to be considered “normal” and 25th percentile falls short.
We are happy to be able to report that our little guy became quite the average little butterball and is now firmly in the 50th percentile, however we have something new that he is “falling behind” on. At our last pediatrician appointment we discussed my child’s lack of words for the second time. At 20 months, my little guy has 2 words that he uses regularly, wow and “da”, “da” typically refers to dad, but can also be used to mean anything else at all in the world. We have heard him use about 5 other words one or two times: dog, ball, duck, cow, no. However, we are not getting down about this; we have found the many good things about having a child that refuses to speak.
You’ll never be the annoying mom bragging about your 10 month old’s 10 word vocabulary.
Sometimes to communicate, your child will make the most adorable puppy sounds.
Instead of yelling for cottage cheese, your toddler may gently take your hand and lead you to the fridge.
You become an expert in body language and pseudo sign language.
Everytime someone brings up your child’s speech you get to brag about the fact that he was super advanced and walked at 9 months (win some, lose some).
You’ll never be fighting your offspring for airtime.
No need to explain stranger danger, he’s not saying hi to anyone anyway.
When you hear “mom” shouted in a store, no need to look around, obviously not your little guy!
The only real silver lining? You are the only actual expert on your child. You and he have a special club, full of a secret language involving grunts, points, hand holding and gestures, making the spoken word wholly unnecessary.