Twink is two, and he doesn’t talk ¬†yet.
There, I’ve said it. I’m not overly worried as I know a few children who started talking even later, and he does have the odd word (although they’re generally pronounced differently every time). These are the words I’ve heard him say:
- Ishy (= his sister)
- fra (= car)
- woo (= Doctor Who)
- oof oof (= woof woof = dog)
- moow (= more or mummy milk…not sure why it’s for both)
- mahmy (= marmite)
- boo (= book)
- aw duh (= all done)
- dah or didah (= water)
They aren’t always clear, and he doesn’t always use them. For example, tonight at bedtime he was moaning for ages with me guessing repeatedly what he might want. He finally said ‘boo’ and I realised he wanted his book to cuddle. It would have saved so much time if he just said ‘boo’ to start with!
He jabbers and babbles away all day long, and sometimes is extremely insistent about what he is saying, but no matter how much I try, I can’t turn most of it into an English word. We’ve been joking for ages that he is probably creating a whole new language instead of learning English…
I understand him most of the time, but more and more there are moments in the day when we both get frustrated with playing twenty questions (do you want x, do you want y, do you want z…). He tries so hard to tell me things sometimes, and I can see it really frustrates him that he knows what he wants but can’t communicate it to me. It must be really isolating to be a pre-verbal child, particularly when you understand most of what you hear. To be trapped in your own head in that way must be quite lonely.
I try to find other ways to communicate with him – communication isn’t just about words. So we’re very tactile with each other and I try to encourage him to use visual clues to tell me what he wants or is thinking and feeling. Sometimes that’s sign language (which he’s started using again more frequently so I’m trying to learn a few more), sometimes it’s a hug while we work out what he is trying to say, and sometimes it’s as simple as getting him to show me what he wants (so he can go to the fridge and grab the milk if he wants some milk!).
It’s basically quite frustrating for all of us, and I think most of his tantrums are caused by not being able to communicate. So imagine how I felt when I picked him up from nursery and found out he’d been ‘chatting all day’ and he is ‘getting really clear now’….grrrr….when is he going to share that with me??!!