Wednesday, February 22, 2012


  So, true confessions: when we went to Little Bug's pediatrician appointment for his 18-month old well-baby checkup, we asked her if she thought his language was ok. We talked about how he only had 19 words (he added "ta-da" in the last couple of weeks--as in, yay, I did that, look at me!), and she said she thought he was fine. We talked about whether we wanted him evaluated anyway, because given his rough start in life, we feel we're entitled to be neurotic; we weren't sure. She pointed to 50 (!) discrete signs as good evidence that there was nothing wrong with his language, and was interested in his innovation with them, like how after we showed him how to make his hands move around each other for the "Wheels on the Bus" song, he used the same motion as a sign for "roll."
  The visit went on for a while after that, discussing all the usual toddler things--a rash, vaccines, throwing toys, considering daycare, brushing teeth, whether he gets enough Vitamin D. Jackson enduring this--standing around in his diaper while we talked--bravely, looking at books and throwing a ball around, but then he got bored. He took his straw cup and rolled it at me, and said "Mama! Wawa!" and signed "roll."
  Our pediatrician laughed at us. There's nothing wrong with Bug's language, she said. He's acquiring language like a baby in a bilingual household. He just put together a three word sentence, which is advanced language development for his age.
  He's got sentences. I totally somehow didn't hear them. Now I hear them all the time. Leaving for work? I get a whole family geography:  Mama. Raura. bye-bye vroom-vroom. Mumma nana. (Mama Laura goes bye-bye in the car; Mama Jennifer [stays home and] nurses me.) Packing bags to go to grandparents? Raura Mumma [sign for baby] bye-bye (Mama Laura, Mama Jennifer, and Little Bug are going away). Hands by his side with palms up, Mumma? Where is Mama Jennifer?
  I used to feel totally superior to the parents who said that their little ones had words that they didn't identify as words until later (not only am I paying close attention to words, I can even work out his signs.)
  I just missed his sentences.