We've been making a lot of jokes about our non-verbal second kid lately. Mostly we laughingly agree that Gage doesn't stand a chance of getting a word in with Braeden around. That kid is always talking and always in motion! I like to point out to Gage that if he doesn't like his dinner or his outfit, all he needs to do is tell me. I'd be glad to give him cookies for dinner if he would just ask for them. :)
Sometimes we joke to cover up our nerves...Mat comes home and tells me that so-and-so's kid is talking or I get an e-mail from babycenter saying that the average 17-month-old can use six words regularly...
I'm not much of a worrier. I honestly believe that things work out. Maybe I've been living a charmed life, or maybe I'm just getting it right most of the time, I don't know. I do know that I don't worry about the boys. When Braeden was a baby, I read a lot of different books about schedules, parenting styles, and sleep issues. And everything I read confused me, annoyed me, or struck me as utterly ridiculous. My parenting style boils down to common sense, instinct, and listening to/empathizing with my boys. The books make it seem so complicated which, I guess, is really an incredibly successful marketing tool to sell more books.
Even with all that said, Mat and I have had a niggling concern about Gage's language development. But then I reread this post from Braeden's blog from mid-June 2006 when he was 17 1/2 months old and I felt 100% better!
Gage doesn't talk much. He can say momma and daddy; he just chooses not to say either one very often. He's starting to say diaper. How cute is that?? He also points to the cat and say caa. Otherwise he's the master of non-verbal communication.
When he wants you to pick him up he stands in front of you with his arms up. When that doesn't work, he starts pushing you until you finally do pick him up. It's annoying when I'm cooking, but cute as hell at the same time. His new thing is wanting to sit on the chair-and-a-half in our living room. I've seen him climb up on it all by himself, but most times he stands in front of it with his arms up whining. The whining escalates into shrieking if we don't respond quickly enough. And if I'm eating something, he has no shame about standing right at my side with his mouth open until I feed him. If I'm not getting the food to him fast enough he'll slap my leg or push on me.
He's also incredibly good at following directions. He loves to help pick up toys and can always be counted on to throw something away if you ask. He knows to go to the stairs when you say it's time for bath or a diaper change. His new thing is to run into his bedroom and to his crib after bath. Half the time he runs right into the crib he gets so excited! He reaches for his lovey which is usually hanging over the edge of the crib and waits for me to pick him up. Once he's in his crib, we play our little good-night game. He sticks his foot through the slats of the crib and I tickle him and tell him to get his foot back in the crib. I start to leave then turn to look back at him, and he always has his foot sticking out again. So I go back and tell him again to stick his foot back through. He gets laughing and so do I. We do this a few times before I finally shut the door. Gage gets this sly little smile on his face (behind the paci) during the game, like he thinks he's pulling one over on me or something. I just love those few minutes with him.