Waleed flipped over at three weeks. He crawled at five months and took his first step in month nine. He ran by year one and races up and down stairs like he owns them. Was I one proud momma at these milestones reached earlier than the checklists stated? Did I boast as though I was personally responsible? In the words of a certain someone, you betcha.
The other day at the playground, a cute ‘Jerry Maguire’ kid of four [I know, he told me] attempted to engage in a lengthy conversation with my son who stared at him like he sprouted three noses. Said child, turned to me:
Max: Why isn’t he talking.
Me: Well, he’s still a baby.
Max: How old is he?
Me: He’s a year and a half
Max: My dad said I was talking by then. He said I talked before I could walk. He said talking is more important than walking. Walking isn’t a big deal.
It brought up again the nagging thought, like a kernel in my shoe, that my sweet little guy? He doesn’t talk much. Don’t get me wrong, he understands stuff. He understands when we tell him not to do something, he helps clean up, putting his bottle up on the table, and no one can convince me he didn’t understand when I told him I was going to get a job. He gets stuff, but he doesn’t say stuff short of a handful of words  none of which are really to communicate save bus [stop/done]. And I can’t help but wonder: should I be worried?
His doctor thinks its because he’s bilingual though I know bilingual kids in his age range who speak quite a lot. My best friend thinks its because I didn’t talk to him enough in the early months, which, I love her and it might be true, but ouch. My mom thinks some kids walk earlier, some kids walk later, and some kids speak earlier and some kids walk later, and at the end of the day it will be okay.
His doctor said if he’s not gabbing it up by two, that’s when the worry bells go off especially since in my case he’s learning two languages simultaneously, but he’s creeping up close to that special day, and while I’m not panicking, weepy, or wringing my hands, as a mother, I can’t lie and tell you I’m not a touch concerned.
Anyone have any personal experience with this? When did your kids start chatting, bilingual or otherwise? Any advice to help further language? I sometimes feel tempted to switch to just one language in the hopes that it will help him speak sooner, but bilingualism is such a gift. Any advice, perspective, opinion much appreciated!