Is this normal toddler behaviour? ‘He is going through a funny phase.’ I explain when Taylan bursts into tears for no apparent reason / hits another child / squeals at unbelievable decibels all day long. He’s been going through it for quite some time, I think to myself as he rocks side to side with such strength I struggle to keep his buggy upright. This week he is like a possessed smurf, a misphonic’s worse nightmare; I can barely look my neighbours in the eye. The week before he was an emotional wreck, regressing to wakeful nights.
At 19 months old Taylan towers above his peers but his height is hugely deceiving. His only recognisable words are ‘Up’ and ‘Daddy’ and they aren’t spoken independently, everything else I momentarily suspect to be a word turn out to be misinterpreted sounds. When older children try to engage with him he just screams (in a happy way) back. They look at me with shock on their little faces, I shrug and explain he’s still very little despite his size.
I have read that by 18 months old a child should have at least six recognisable words in their vocabulary and I have seen younger children with larger vocabularies than that. ‘Zibidy’, ‘aya’ and ‘weeeeee’ aren’t words I can recall using much. Let’s rewind for a moment; as a baby Taylan never mouthed anything. EVER. He knocked on objects with his left hand instead, knocking so hard that his knuckles became swollen! Maybe he hasn’t developed an awareness of his own palate. Maybe I should stop over analysing and just enjoy his funny screeches because they’ll soon be a memory.
The fact is, I naturally question whether my son is developing ‘normally’ and reluctantly compare him to others. I suppose that’s what all first time parents do. Development is a fascinating thing and luckily Paint Pots has taught me to relish in my child as an individual – yes he isn’t speaking but he has his own ways of communicating. He uses signs, some I don’t understand at first but when I figure out what they mean, it shows his brain is definitely working! He is able to identify almost anything and follows command so I know the knowledge is inside his fluffy head, it’ll be verbalised when he’s good and ready.
At just over a year and a half Taylan has an inexhaustible supply of energy and a waning desire to sleep. He relishes in completing a task, shares jokes and absolutely knows when he is doing something ‘naughty’. He surprises us every day with his quirky behaviour and unique dance style. With his growing sense of self, his shows of rebellion bear testament to the strength of his character. Toddlerdom is a massive learning experience with its fine balance of patience and discipline. Paint Pots are offering empowered parenting lessons; this could be the helping hand I need and an insight to what to expect in early years development. What parent doesn’t need a little reassurance? I certainly do!
Alexia De Angelis – Paint Pots Mum