Noah has a speech referral. His appointment is on the first of March, in time for him to start nursery in April. As in, so maybe I can decide which way this is all going to go, and if we're going to need to look at "special measures" when he starts school.
This morning kind of took a really sad turn. Lately Noah is very keen to get my attention, but he does it the most obvious way for him, which is to simply ask, "Mummy?"
So what's so bad about that? What's to complain about? That's great!! He can call me!! AWESOME!!!
Whenever I hear that "Mummy?" I'm filled with dread, because I know I won't understand what is going to follow. I know that he'll say it many more times, until he gets my attention, as he almost always does because he asks for it so politely. And then when he does get my attention, it's followed by one of the following.
1. A sign that we have either learnt together, or one that he has made up himself to convey what he means. The latter is dangerous, if I haven't figured out what he is referring to.
2. A word that he knows clear as day, more often than not, "Daddy", "Gah-gag" (Isaac) or "Nenen" (Nana). There is little to no follow up to this. He will either repeat for fun, repeat until I say what he just said (corrected), or he will go off and play.
3. A word that sounds like the majority of vocabulary, "UH" or "EH". This he will usually repeat until I either guess correctly, or distract him with something else.
Now. I can not, just CAN NOT begin to describe what sort of levels of frustration we're dealing with here. Because usually, most of the above will end in tears of frustration or confusion. I don't understand what he wants. I have no clue what he is trying to tell me. And by trying, I mean pretty much driving himself batshit with determination.
All too many times, he's been doing something, and then randomly burst into tears. Not just, gentle whimpering, I mean full on wailing, omg the world is about to end WHY OH GOD WHYYYYYYYY.
I appreciate toddlers are over dramatic. I know they're not easy. I know that they live in as much confusion as most teenagers, I get that. But tell me. What the hell am I supposed to do, exactly? When he's babbling and mumbling and none of it is making the tiniest bit of sense? When he looks at me, stares at me, like why the hell can't I figure out what he's saying and Mummy? Mummy? Mummy? Mummy? Mummy?
I defy you to imagine what it's like to dread hearing that word. No, wait, let me check that. I love to hear it. I love that he can say it. And Daddy, too. With the same questioning inflection, querying, questioning; it's awesome.
But it fills me with dread. Because I don't know what's coming next. I don't know if within a few minutes, we're both going to be reduced to tears because he's trying to tell me something, wants me to do something, that I just do not understand. He hasn't got time to waste, waiting for me to guess a thousand different things, trying to work out what he's saying. He has amazing patience with me at times, I'll grant him that. I don't understand that. But at the same time, in that moment of urgency, when something is so exciting to him and he wants to share it with me, and I can't because I have no clue what's going on that world of his, it breaks me horribly so, that I cannot be there with him, but can only offer excited nodding and big smiles and saying "Yes of course Noah! Yes yes! Look!!", and all the while, not being able to genuinely share in his excitement.
This morning hit a particular low point. He was sat eating his porridge, like a dream. Given his crazy eating habits (whereby I have decided he would sooner do anything, anything than sit and eat), I was over the moon. He got to the bottom of the bowl, and where there was still a bit left. Then he started crying. Hysterically. I have no. Idea. Why.
Because his cereal was almost finished? Because he couldn't scrape the last bit up? Because it was Thomas in the bottom of the bowl and not Lightening McQueen or Peppa Pig?
And then came that stupid annoying thought, the one that wins every time in destroying me and making me feel pathetic.
This is my fault.
It's because of me why he can't say what he wants to say.
I didn't try hard enough.
I didn't help him enough.
So when your kid, who you want so much to just be happy, who you want to help as much as possible...and then the doubt...the self doubt...the criticism...what do you do?
Why can I not help him? Why am I not "finely attuned" to his needs? Why can he not yet string two words together? And why did I not help him towards stringing two words together even sooner? I felt something was up long before I posted anything here. And now here we are, several months later, with words that barely make sense to me, to anyone, and we're all none the wiser.
I hope to god, every day, that at this appointment? They turn to me and say that he's fine and doing ok for development.
Because right now? The kid sobbing in my face saying my name over and over again is not convincing me.