They look you in the face day in & day out and you try to shove them to the side, or throw them on the back burner. You think, one day it will just fix itself.
But then that day doesn’t come.
As a mother, you never want to think that your child, your baby, is anything less than perfect.
Children come into this world brand new and completely pure & innocent. You watch them grow, change, & develop over time & you think to yourself, “my child is the smartest child that ever walked the planet!” (be honest, you know you do it, too).
But then reality hits and you realize your child needs help, more help than you can offer.
Tucker is in pre-k & is now starting speech two days a week with my mother-in-law, who is a speech pathologist. Tucker is perfect in my eyes, but his speech, not so much.
Tucker was a slow-to-talk kind of baby. When he first started learning words we were so excited and would oooh & ahhh over each new word. He started with all the normals-dada, mama, baba. Over time, when his vocabulary should have been growing and going from single words to word combinations, things slowed. He was a pacifier baby (plug, as we call it) and he loved that thing. Do I think this hindered his speech development? Maybe. But he & the girls were all right around two when we said good-bye to plugs and the girls have had no trouble with their speech. Do we think it’s because he is a boy? Maybe. Because he was our first? Maybe. I really don’t know where or why the problem started.
Does Tucker talk now? Oh, my word, yes! He doesn’t stop talking ever & his language abilities are 100%. He understands & comprehends & can tell & retell to his hearts content. When he was about three his speech really started to pick up and we couldn’t believe how much he was talking, but we had to listen really hard to understand what he was saying. Over time, we grew to know his words for things. He couldn’t say Target, but he could say roll-roll (maybe because of the logo?) so that’s what we would call it. Cup is bup, phone is bone. Those are just some of the words he still has trouble with. He actually has corrected himself on a lot of sounds over the last year or so. His ability to say words more clearly has improved & each day I find him saying something else & me thinking to myself, “Oh, he can say that word now!”.
Until now, it was something I just kept telling myself would improve over time. But now? He’s in school and as a teacher I do not want his speech holding him up when it comes to reading & writing. At the beginning of the school year, his teacher sent an information sheet home that had a question asking if we had any areas of concern for our child’s learning. I opened up about his speech & last week she asked me more about it. To have him serviced at his school (since it is a private school) it would be $50 a session (and who knows how many sessions he’d need). Our county offers free speech through the school system, but we’d have to get it to fit in our schedule and with three kids, all in school now, and working full time, it would be hard to do. So I reached out to my mother-in-law to see if she thought her working with him would help.
She’s his grandma and it made me worry that her teaching him & correcting him might affect their relationship. She agreed to start taking him two days a week, after school, back to her school so he’s learning in a classroom environment. He gets homework from her (sounds to practice) and is rewarded with her treasure box & special visits to the playground or her house for a class well spent.
So far, he LOVES it and already has improved on the sound they started with, and its only been one week. Do I wish we had done this sooner? Yes.
My head knew he needed help, but my momma heart didn’t want to listen.
My boy is perfect (in my eyes) and soon, his speech will be, too.
*The picture in this post was taken just this afternoon by my mom while Tucker was waiting for grandma to pick him up for speech class. He is so excited to go with her & learn his new sounds. Such a sweet, innocent boy.