I think the answer is no.
For a long time, it has been easy for me to think of Tad as a baby. Since he is the youngest, it was easy to promote Ane to being the “big” kid and having her do more advanced activities. Plus, Tad has several handicaps that have prevented him from being perceived as a “big” kid – his tendency to eat Play-Doh being among them. Fortunately, he is growing out of that.
But his lack of speech made it very easy to keep thinking “baby.” After all, he didn’t talk; he just made babbling sounds with the occasional word tossed in (most likely the word “no”). He still sits in the highchair to eat, since he’s a bona fide mess maker and believes that his hair was created to wipe his hands on. He still thinks that nature belongs in his mouth, and while his extreme pica seems to be gone, we still have to watch out for the stray pebble or dirt clod that he might be licking.
Tad had his first speech therapy appointment on Monday. It was more of a get-to-know-you session with the speech therapist, and we have to do this all over again with the second therapist tomorrow. Each child has two therapists working with them, in order for the child to be comfortable with more than one person and for the therapists to bounce ideas off the other about the child’s progress. So, needless to say, he did not come out of the session quoting Shakespeare. Not that I expected that at all. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just hoping to see some real techniques and therapy soon, because it seems like what we’ve got right now is just a glorified (and expensive) playtime with different toys in an office.
I just want him to talk. I’m not expecting much out of therapy just yet – after all, we’ve only had one appointment – but can I really be at fault for wanting to get some encouraging signs/progress a few weeks from now?
Tad has also started to stay dry at naptime. I am feeling slightly overwhelmed by the idea of potty-training him right now – after all, the boy barely talks! But I do put him on the potty whenever he wakes up dry. Nothing has happened yet. I have this gut feeling that IF, just if, he would go just once, then he would understand what I’m asking of him and be more willing/able to do it. It’s all about jumping that first hurdle with him.
Still, I’m not going gung-ho for the potty right now. I really want him to talk first, and would rather put my energy and effort into the work for that right now. Still, if I was going to let him lead me, then we would be potty training him through pantomime right now and skipping this whole talking thing.
Every which way I turn, though, he’s growing up and I can’t stop him. All I can do is aid him by providing the speech therapy, because that seems to be the one thing really holding him back. And we’re going to be shopping for a toddler bed in the next couple of weeks (before all of the Babies R Us coupons we got in the mail expire), because we’ve seen him try to escape from his crib again before thinking better of it, and we’re so scared that one day soon, he won’t stop and think about it. I don’t want to have to explain another broken bone to a physician.
I am perfectly willing to let Tad grow up. But I need a baby fix in the meantime. Baby Cousin? Don’t you want to bring your mom and dad and big sister to come visit me? Your cousin Ane would LOVE to see and hold you.