Speech Delays: Talk to Me

6 years ago

I look at his face, red now, with snot and tears and drool all mixing into one big, frustrated mess.

He wants so much to tell me.

Even more, he wants me to understand.

Why aren’t I helping him?


This motherhood thing, when it comes down to the core of it, is pretty simple.

You take care of your child.

You are made expressively for this purpose.

And yet.

I look at that face, at the brown eyes so much like his big brother’s, and I know I’ve failed.

Because I have no idea what he wants.


It could be anything.

And if I can’t figure it out, then I watch my baby tantrum.

It hurts.

Speech delay.

I know it could be so much worse. So much.

I know there are kids who, at age 22 months, have not yet made a sound.

We have sounds.

We just often don’t know what they mean.

So, since I am not one of those “Well, let’s see what happens, I’m sure he’ll catch up eventually, boys will be boys,” types of moms, I had him evaluated for speech therapy.

We’ve been down this road before. Sage had the verbal skills of a nine-month old when she was evaluated at 20 months. Six months later, she was speaking in complete, complex sentences.

Now there’s X.

He’s not as delayed as she was. But he still – thankfully – qualifies.

I will take him to his sessions and I will worry and hope they find the magic that connects the wires between his mind and his thoughts.

And beautiful words will spill out into the air.

I will miss how he calls me “Baba” and Thomas the Train “Ditdis” and trucks “guck guck.”

But not the way he looks at me when he’s desperately trying to tell me something.


He will instead smile, all dimples and teeth, because finally, he’ll be heard.

And understood.

Cheryl is a former newspaper sports journalist who now blogs about the real moments of parenting at Mommypants.

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