I knew that language would be slow coming for Baby #4. After all, some kids with Down syndrome have very limited to no speech; others are able to communicate quite proficiently. There is no way to tell how far our guys’ speech ability will develop, but when he started to say some words at around ten months old, I began to have high hopes that we would have a speaker!
Fast forward his past 2 and half years, however, and I’m still waiting for one small word to come from my littlest’s mouth. I know it’s got to be on the tip of his tongue because in that amount of time, I’ve heard his words progress from shouting to imitating, and we can pick out many of the words he says now. For instance, he can say all done. These were some of his first words and he’s been able to say this phrase for quite some time, along with Dad, his oldest brother’s name, more, bye-bye, and eat. Some of his latest words include, Stop! and Oh wow!
Baby #4 can even sign most of these words, and if he’s not signing, he may be acting his desires out. Watch out for his left hook!
But we are still working on one tiny word that I think is S-L-O-W-L-Y coming.
We repeat this word multiple times a day. Often our attempts are met with laughter, and with Baby #4 shouting with excitement…mostly because he says this word in the funniest sort of way.
“Say Mom!” my children will demand. “Mom-ma,” they say. “Say Mom-ma.”
Sometimes Baby #4 laughs and says, “Dad.” (Not funny, Baby #4!)
“No, say Momma!” they shout. “Mom-Mah!”
Now he can certainly pronounce the M sound. He just chooses not to. He loves an audience, and their focus is completely on him! Will he say Momma for them today? The suspense!
“Bob!” he cries.
Giggles fill the room! “Mom, he just called you Bob!” one will exclaim. “Did you hear that? He thinks your name is Bob!”
As usual, Baby #2 will correct him, “No, say Momma!”
Mischievously, Baby #4 will yell, “Bobba!”
Although humorous, that just doesn’t have the same, warm feeling as hearing the word Momma come from your little one’s mouth. In fact, as cute as it is, I rreeaallllyy want him to say Mom,
When he wants something,
or is angry,
I’d be lying if I told you I liked being called Bob.
As his adoptive mom, I’m sure the yearning to hear this word is slightly stronger than if he were my biological child. A part of me wants him to confirm what I already know, that I am his mother and he thinks so too! I just want him to say Mom; or momma, mommy, mum – any multitude of combinations would work.
You see, sometimes when you have a child with extra needs, milestones take longer to meet. They can take so long, in fact, that you don’t realize how patient you can be while waiting until you’re rather sick of it. I should be happy about this new speech development; Bob means Mom! Instead I’m hoping, waiting, wanting to hear a word he can’t say.
Yet as tough and strange sounding as it is, waiting on the small things is a little easier with Baby #4. Time goes by a bit slower. His littleness lasts a tad longer. Even the tiniest of accomplishments are celebrated with thankfulness and a sense of relief. When he uses the name Bob instead of Mom, I do know he’s on the right track!
Somehow, even though I am not thrilled with being called Bob, I know that Baby #4 will say Mom correctly someday; it is certainly just a matter of time! As impatient as I am, I guess I will just have to wait a while longer…
My boy calls me Bob.
I CAN wait until he calls me Mom!
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month!
For more of our family experiences with regards to Down syndrome, please click here!