Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mum's The Word

Eli is nine months old now. He's officially spent longer in this world than he did inside me and if that doesn't blow a person's mind, I don't know what will. The progress he's made is nothing short of amazing. If you think about the person he was then - a tiny, curled up creature who did little more than sleep, poop and whip his head frantically back and forth before dive-bombing my breast, earning himself nicknames like Motorboat and Sharkbite - and then look at the whirling ball of energy he's become, it's hard to reconcile the change with the timeline. For God sake, I haven't even managed to get out of my fat jeans yet and he's practically evolved into a higher being.

On Sunday, he started making his first moves toward walking. He's almost ready; he'll let go of furniture for one solitary step to bridge the gap between couch and chair. We bought him a walker today and he raced across the living room, barreling past at full speed, often hanging on with only one hand. Then he'd crash into something, sprawling clumsily onto the floor in the process, where he'd sit and yell until we got the toy turned around so he could do it all again.

He's a good eater with a big appetite. He's eating more solid foods and has decided that purees are only for fruits, rarely veggies and never meats. He'll happily gum down whole green beans, bites of chicken, hummus on whole wheat pitas. He loves French fries and English muffins and pizza. He still only has two teeth.

The only thing he's not doing is babbling. He makes vowel sounds and the 'm' sound (sometimes as "um", sometimes "mmm", and occasionally "mum" but never repeated like "mama") but that's it for consonants. No googoos or babas or dadas. And to be honest, I'm not worried. That's the wrong word. It implies a certain feeling of dread that I don't have. What I do feel, in my gut, is that he will eventually be diagnosed with a speech delay. I'd bet money on it. And you know what? That's FINE. We'll look into getting him evaluated if nothing changes in the next month and we'll do whatever needs doing. It's something I feel oddly at peace about. He'll get there, wherever "there" is.

I actually find it annoying the way people seem to assume that if and when that should happen, it will be a huge issue, that it's something that would somehow lessen him. Often, when I've mentioned to friends or family that he's a bit behind, I've been told not to worry, that there's nothing wrong with him. As if a speech delay is something truly horrible, like a terrible illness. But I'm not worried because they're right; speech delay or not, there is nothing "wrong" with him.

In fact, he's perfect.

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