Monday, February 2, 2009


I had a wonderful birthday. My dh was home, which is normally not the case for my birthday or his birthday. I would describe the vibe of the day as peaceful. I heard this quote on a cartoon video J wanted to see, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why they call it the present." I think that sums it up perfectly. We ate dinner at the Cheesecake factory, and I had Baja chicken tacos with guacamole, because there can be no birthday without Mexican food. I got a book, a beautiful CD case/holder, and an open ended ticket to replace my photo printer if needed/wanted this year.
I got a call from my mom this morning who is at Duke with my sister now. She arrived over the weekend. Yesterday my sister spiked a fever of 101.7, this prompted her doctors to start doing blood, urine, and stool samples, a chest xray and a CT scan looking for an abscess. There are other patients on her floor with the same low grade fever, so it's just not clear what exactly is going on at the moment. My sister and my mom are disappointed, they were hoping to return home tomorrow as the bad weather is to begin tonight on the East Coast.
We had a tough morning at J's class. He started off doing so well, esp with circle time. It went downhill from there. By the end he was just crying inconsolably for the last 10 mins. I went to the car to get him water, and he seemed to just want to leave. So I came in and grabbed our coats and told the instructor we were going. It was about time for the end of class anyway, but I still felt bad leaving so abruptly. But I knew he was just done, and I was certainly done trying to figure out the problem. It's so good for us to go the class though. I think it helps me realize that all kids are difficult, throw temper tantrums, and are unreasonable, at least some of the time.
On Sat. we went to check out pre-school programs in our area. There is a waiting list here for pre-school for at least 6 months, average is about a year. So if we want him to start that part time by the time he is 3, we have to get on a list now. We weren't thrilled with the first place we looked, and the tune of $12,000 per year really opened my eyes that this is big business.  In our area, we have very elite schools for young children too, that you have to apply to. It's like college really. And don't kid yourself, there is competitive parenting at every single turn.  And this past week at J's class and then seeing all the 2 year olds at the open house for this one school kind of opened dh's and my eyes to the fact that perhaps J's speech is significantly lagging behind his peers. 
I've beat myself with the worry stick half to death, wondering what I've done wrong. We read to him a lot, and he seems very bright with a good memory. He just seems to have difficulty using words to express himself. He does not have any symptoms of autism or anything like that. And I have no doubt if we weren't in such a competitive area as far as children and education are concerned, giving him the next year or so to catch up wouldn't be a problem. But, there seems to be no time to just let a kid be a kid, if he doesn't start really speaking soon he will be behind his peers a year or more by the start of formal school. So, I need to contact the pediatrician this week. I'm hoping to get a referral for speech testing and I'm hoping they say everything is just fine. I don't think my child has a big problem, I think that the education system is selecting for more verbal children earlier and earlier. My father was a late talker and he is a genius, really. And Einstein didn't talk until he was 4. And my friend told me this tale that is often told in Germany regarding little boys: 
There once was a little boy who did not speak. His parents were puzzled and frustrated that he refused to speak. Yet he seemed happy. One night a few years later at dinner the little boy said, "the potatoes are cold." And his mother said, " You spoke, that's wonderful! Why have you not talked before?" and the little boy said, "Everything was fine until now." 
I have not been in much of a scrapping mood this weekend. So here's a pic of one of those everyday moments that I love:
Happy Monday!


Susan Beth said...

You are wise to both get the speech issue checked out but to consider that in all likelihood it is nothing outside of perfectly normal. Keep at the classes because even chosing to leave when appropriate is a teaching moment for J - you met his needs instead of social expectations, and that is something great for him to know. Will pray for your sister. So sorry for the disappointment she must feel to not be going home as soon as hoped. What a long haul this is, but you saw that coming from a long way off, didn't you! Also, with the competitive schools, look for David Elkind's "The Hurried Child" (it's old!) and skim it for a great perspective on all of that. Success in the long run sure beats being the head of the pack in the under ten years!

Jody said...

I so understand your concerns about you son's speech delays.
My youngest had developmental delays with her gross motor skills. We had her assessed and she ended up needing some therapy but she is fine now. Children are so resiliant. We adults are the ones with all the worrying issues.
Since I am so great with giving (but not heeding) advice here is a quote just for you...
“There are two days in the week about which and upon which I never worry... Yesterday and Tomorrow.”
Hang in there, Danielle

Laura Fiore said...

HA! Look how happy he is to be using the last of the TP. I hope everything is fine for him...getting him tested will ease your mind whether he needs help or not.

janel said...

First of all, I am so sorry I missed your birthday...dang me. I am so glad that you got Mexican food on your special day...and I hope you topped it off with cheesecake.
I agree with Susan..The Hurried Child is a good one, and am sure it is in your local library.
Hang in there. It sounds like you are doing all the right things...and remember that the VERY most important thing is to LOVE them! And I know you do.

karen m. (akaliz) said...

what a sweetheart that boy is! look at that face! i had no idea that he was not even 3 yet. my son didn't make a peep until he turned 4. owen, on the other hand talks all the time. i think the difference is that our first one we never baby-talked to and he was not around other kids that much at all. even when he was, he kept to himself. but, when he did start to speak, he used full sentences with perfect speech. no problems at all. he is now an excellent reader and far beyond the other kids in his class in all areas. our doctor showed concern when he was 2 and recommended early childhood intervention but we did not do it. we read to him a ton and could tell he was smart, especially when it came to logic and he had excellent common sense (more than i can say for some adults i know these days). as for owen, he is a talker, but is not as strong as michael was in other areas at the age of 2. i think it's one or the other really.

if you see that he is a smart boy, i really don't think he just doesn't have that much to say. i know your concern b/c i was there. and i'm certainly not making light of it. but i would say not to compare your child to others as each child is different. and, like you said, Einstein didn't talk until he was four. he was too busy taking everything in.

i hope you had a wonderful must have been if you went to the cheesecake factory!!! and i hope that your sister's fever breaks soon. it sounds like maybe something is going around the hospital?

the word verification for my comment is 'nosetipp'. tee hee!

sorry for the long post.

Kristii said...

Cute!!! What a doll he is!! I agree with everyone's advice here. The Hurried Child is an excellent recommendation! For what it is worth, my son was on the slow side of development and we read to him consistently. Now we just have to deal with laziness....what's a mom to do?? Hang in there girl! You are doing all the right things and you are a great mom!!

Allie said...

Gosh, this being a kid thing is tough business these days! Kind of scary really. Makes me glad I don't have to worry about such things. Thankfully there's not that kind of pressure with dogs! ;)