Sunday, 30 November 2014

A Language of His Own

At two-years of age, my little blonde-haired, blue-eyed man was not the strongest of talkers at the park. Who are we kidding? Despite all the babbling that came out of his adorable heart-shaped mouth, Benny could barely string together two words that sounded remotely close to the English language.

His sister, on the other hand, who is 5 years older than him, began to speak clearly and in full sentences by the age of 18 months. So I had to question, what did I do differently with this one to make him so hard to understand? Had I ignored him more than my daughter? Was his IQ just a little lower than his sister’s? Maybe I hadn’t given him enough healthy fats to help his brain develop. I knew I should have thrown a few extra avocados in his baby nutrition.

As time went on, everyone I knew had to mention how Ben was hard to understand. “Don’t worry,” they’d say. “It’s because he’s the second child and he’s a boy.” Apparently boys get a bad rap in the linguistics department. “It’ll get better,” every one would say.

I decided that I wasn’t too concerned… yet. I had seen other kids around his age who weren’t super gifted with words. I decided I wasn’t going to worry too much about it. At least not for a while.

Then one day, something miraculous happened while my kids were playing at the park. Ben was digging in the sand when another little guy his age walked up to him and starting digging in the sand too. They both had matchbox cars, and they were about the same age. They were making all the appropriate noises as they raced their little cars in the sandbox.

Then Ben started chatting with his new little friend in his jibber jabber sort of way. I was pretty sure the other kid would look at him with a blank stare on his face. But instead, he started talking back to him… In the same Ben-like language! Oh my gosh - they understand each other, I thought. They speak the SAME language!

I quickly rushed my 8-year-old over to show her this amazing exchange of baby talk. She looked at me with a big smile on her face. We were both so excited to see someone who really understood what our little Benny was saying.

The boys continued to play for a few minutes when I noticed the other little guy’s mom come sit closer. I smiled at her and said, “isn’t it so cute that they are speaking their own special language?” The lady looked at me, gave me a little smile and nodded her head politely. She must be shy, I thought. Not much of a talker. Oh well. Not everyone is.

A few minutes passed when I realized I needed to get home. I called Zoe and Ben and said it was time to go. Ben said goodbye to his new pal, and his little buddy walked towards his mom. As he approached her, I could hear him talking to her in his adorable baby babble. So cute, I thought. But then, the mom responded to him. And she was talking the same language! But then it hit me. The little boy wasn’t speaking in baby talk, he was speaking another language, a real language that just happened to sound exactly like Ben’s toddler dialect. Urgh… Who’s the biggest dork in the world? Ya, that would be me. I grabbed my kids, not looking back, and headed for home. I’m an idiot, I thought. A big one.

At what age did you child(ren) start to speak clearly? Were you concerned with delayed language skills?

1 comment:

  1. LOL!! I was not expecting the story to end that way!! Hilarious, as always :)