I have a feeling this could turn into a rant. I’m just coming out of the second bout of viral horribleness I’ve had into the last month or so.
Thankfully this one was short, yet intense, but there is something about riding the porcelain bus hourly for almost two days that leaves you with more than a bitter taste in your mouth.
It’s time to purge out some of that mental baggage as well. I have a habit of letting it build up on me until the pressure becomes too much and maybe, just maybe, that’s why it manifests in a physical illness. Who knows? I’ll believe anything at this point.
So for my future health and sanity, here goes.
My anger started building when I read this post a couple of weeks ago. The post itself wasn’t overtly offensive – I get if you’re blogging on a mainstream news site that the point is to create a reaction, the more controversial the better. I also concede I was reading under the veil of worry for my own boy, almost two, who only says a handful of words. ‘Late walker, early talker’, my arse.
Then I started reading the comments to the piece. Bad move. Cue the parents of gabbling toddlers all lining up to be recognised for the gift of language they’ve lovingly bestowed on their child by not using baby talk, reading to them, engaging them in conversation, showing them the big wide world etc, boring etc.
Then cue the anecdotes about other parents they know (usually inlaws, funnily enough) who do not take these basic steps and who have children that are far less advanced than their little darlings, ‘poor things’. Just plain old lazy parenting.
Well I’m here to tell you, perfect parents, with perfect children, sometimes there are other parents putting in all the same, loving care and attention that you boast of and continue to do so, despite seeing next to no results for their efforts. They continue to do it, despite worrying there could be something wrong with their child, while you sit back at a family barbecue making mental notes at how their child is far less articulate than yours, smug in the knowledge that you are a superior parent.
Let me break it down for you – as far as I can tell, you just got lucky. Good on you for being such a doting parent, but stop to think that there are other parents out there not as ‘lucky’ as you who may have to seek professional help just to get their child at the stage that you take for granted.
The morning I first read this piece I’d had a conversation with J’s day care carer about his progress and when I brought up his speech – or lack there of – she gently said that maybe it was worth getting him assessed. I was thinking it already but sometimes hearing it from someone else makes it seem more omnipresent, another reality.
And then I read this piece and found out that if I wasn’t such a god damn lazy parent we wouldn’t even be in this situation. How enlightening.
Anyone with a late talker out there? At what point did you begin to worry and seek further advice?