Thirteen Percent

I think nothing of it when I walk in the room and our age seven month daughter says dada, and I thought nothing of it when she asked for mama when she was frustrated with me one night and my wife was out of the house. Tonight was significant though. She got hungry and instead of crying and making a fuss she said baba. It is a strange thing because age seven month babies aren’t supposed to do that. According to Google they will make all those sounds but don’t know what they mean. She knows.

The strangest part of all this is her brothers are speech delayed or so we have been told. It was diagnosed as slight but it was still diagnosed. When I look up speech for 20 month olds, their adjusted age, and 23 month olds neither sounds like them. I am unsure exactly where they are as at their NICU follow-up we were asked to list words they said and 30 minutes after the appointment were still listing words we didn’t give the doctor.

It is hard to say if they know 100 words. The could easily know that many. I know the word assuage but I don’t use it in daily conversation or write it that often. They could know lots of words and never say any of them. How are we to know what is in their minds and we have already proven our inability to remember all the words they do say.

While reading through the description of a 20 month old or 23 month old it said they might call a moon a ball, and they have done that and might still do it. The other day, however, one of them called a peach an apple and while a peach isn’t an apple it also isn’t a ball and a peach is closer related to an apple than a ball. They may not have all the words but they have the concept.

It is also interesting that this is the time when we are supposed to stop adjusting their age. A two year old is a two year old even if they were born three months early. At this point three months is 13% of their lives. If you were to take away 13% of my life I’d be five years younger. I wouldn’t mind that nor do I think I even have the maturity of a 35 year old but 13% is a significant portion of a person’s life.

All the follow-ups and instructions and careful watching of milestones is frustrating. I am happy that with the seven month old that no one will ever ask us to list the words she says or if she can touch her nose on command or any other questions like that.

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