Number Two, like the rest of childkind, is on his own schedule. Like many parents, however, The Partner and I decided we wanted him on our timeline. We brought in professionals of the state-sanctioned child-development kind to assess his progress when he was 18 months old. They found him significantly delayed in several areas including those of expressive and receptive speech. Fast-forward one year (because that's how time travels): our formerly delayed son has been diagnosed "normal."
Sometimes the words come so fast they are barely intelligible. Some of them seem disconnected both to each other and to a overriding thought process. Other times a few key phrases hint at the fact that he knows much more than he's saying.
Yesterday Number Two was in his car seat on our way to a friend's house when he reacted to something I told him with obvious displeasure.
"That's stupid," he said.
"What did you say?" I demanded. I wasn't sure, or didn't want to believe, that the garbled words I heard were actually what I thought they might be. We don't allow talk like that in our house. On the other hand, he had to learn it somewhere--and it was probably here.
"Kiss!" he said, puckering up in deflection of the matter as he always does when a conversation is heading somewhere he doesn't want it to.
"What did you say?" I repeated.
He sighed. "I just talkin'. Give break."
I had to smile. He offered a valid point. Isn't that what we wanted? After all the effort we put into getting him to a place that I now think he would've arrived at without our intercession, maybe it's time to give the kid a break.
Sometimes it's just talk.