I have written a few times about my daughters both having speech problems. When I was young and naïve—and childless!!—I often saw people with such problems and assumed that it was the mother’s fault. If she only talked to her children more, I reasoned, she wouldn’t have a child struggling with language. Maybe that is the case sometimes but more often than not these kind of assumptions are WRONG. How do I know? Because anyone who knows me knows I am a big talker, and huge on communication. My husband often comments that I talk issues “to death.”
I have always, always been talking to my kids since they entered the world. I would window shop with my one-month old, asking how she liked this dress or that purse. I often got weird looks, let me tell you. I would—and still do—randomly tell my girls about stories that come to mind. And I still read to them quite a bit.
I always excelled at English. In high school I got awards for it, in college I scored a perfect score in it on the ACT and was passed through English courses without having to take them. Again, I thought I had everything in took to prevent my kids from struggling in at least that one subject. But both of my girls have speech problems. Alison, my oldest, struggles with enunciation and Khalen just rarely talks.
I said all of this to explain why I am so excited about a telephone conversation I had with my daughter today:
“Hey, honey, how are you?” I asked.
“I have boo-boo,” she replied.
“Oh, really? I’m sorry, baby. Where?”
“My head hurts.”
“Aw. Grandma says you’re not eating dinner.”
“I not want to eat.”
“You have to eat, or no movie,” I warned.
And that was the end of it. It seems silly, but this is seriously the longest conversation I have ever had with her being able to understand everything she is saying. I am so stoked!
Recently I talked with another mom at speech therapy who worried that allowing her daughter to watch too much TV had caused her speech problems. Maybe, she suggested, it was her fault. I assured her with confidence that not only is this not the case, it will get better! After all, I am seeing it for myself at home!