Thursday, April 26, 2012

Teach the children, or save our sanity?

When we decided to have a third child, we heard a lot about how expensive this was going to be.  How were we going to be able to send them all to college?  Where was this new baby going to sleep (uh, in a crib in the then computer room)?  What about diapers (uh, I cloth diaper and I already own all of the diapers)?  What about formula (which is funny, I nursed Sunshine and Monkey and was lucky and never needed formula but no one mentioned two teenage boys)?  But there was one thing that no one, not one single person mentioned; the noise.  No one ever mentioned how loud 3 children would be.  Just so people are aware, this is not a linear scale, this goes up exponentially as they all fight for attention and with each other.

Monkey started talking when he was about 15 months, then he stopped.  It wasn't really very noticeable at first.  He had just been saying a few words and wasn't putting 2 words together yet.  Just the basics.  He learned how to walk at the old age of 18 months.  Yikes!  It was lots of fun hauling an 18 month old baby anywhere you might let a baby that age walk but you don't want him to crawl.  Regardless, right around this time is when he stopped talking.  We didn't realize it until he was about 2 or 2 1/2 when we noticed that some of the words he used to say he was no longer saying.  For a little bit we thought he might just start on his own but once we realized that was not the case it was off to the speech therapist we went.  After the first meeting we realized that he said about 10 words, 20 animal/vehicle sounds, and about 75 signs.  He was speaking at an 18 month old level and definitely qualified for speech therapy.  I was surprised when she told me that generally children who are late walkers tend to be late talkers since their brains can only focus on a skill that large at one time.

We have now been at speech for 2 years and he's come so far.  He has definite issues where I sometimes still can't understand what he's trying to say, just last night he couldn't explain to me what he wanted.  Strangers, especially those who don't have young children, still have problems understanding him.  It breaks my heart when he gets so frustrated, he knows what the sound is supposed to be and knows that when you repeat it back to him as he said it, that the word is not said the proper way.  He just can't get it.  He's been asking what letters words start with and last night he asked me what that unknown word started with...

Now some people hear that he's in speech and think that he must not speak or doesn't speak a lot.  This is not the case.  I can't get him to be quiet.  When Sunshine and Monkey are fighting in the car or I know Bug would be able to sleep if the 2 of them were quiet, I say "Let's play the quiet game!"  Monkey is quiet for about a block.  He will talk the entire way.  Sometimes he'll talk to himself, sometimes to me, sometimes he sings.  He just keeps on going, he's like the Energizer Bunny.  Needless to say, he has never won the "quiet game".  On the rare times he's fallen asleep, he usually wakes up a few blocks from our destination and will start up in his talking as if was never sleeping.

Now we have Bug.  Bug is 18 months and has been walking since he was 15 months (I have late walkers) and he has really begun to harness the speaking skill.  He repeats words in random conversations and then will often say them until you're ready to tell him to be quiet.

For those who might think that girls are quiet, this is not always the case.  Sunshine has a loud voice.  It seems to carry across the whole house.  I envision her on a stage some day, not needing a microphone.  Sunshine and Monkey only get louder when they argue, which is amazing in its own right.

I wonder; why do we push our children to talk?  This is clearly not going to have good results.  I will now have 3 children, all of whom have loud voices, talking at the same time. What will have happened to my sanity?  It will probably have been long gone by the time Bug is potty trained.

Here they are, being quiet!



  1. I can vouch that your kids ARE loud. Even when they're quiet.

  2. They're even loud when they sleep, if that's possible.