Language development

I have to admit I have been worried about my daughter’s language development. Now, let’s be clear: I’m not thinking she’s abnormal and will need speech therapy. She’s 14 months and can say a few words, so I think she’s normal. The thing is, my son was abnormal. He could say a lot more words than my daughter at that age (or at least that’s what my probably failing mommy memory tells me). And because he continued being way ahead of the curve speech-wise, I am convinced it helped with the tantrums. He was a really good toddler. He could understand a lot and he could tell us what he wanted at a very young age, so we avoided a lot of frustration.

Now my daughter is just normal. Which is fine, except that it means she gets frustrated because she can’t get what she wants (because the finger-pointing while screaming is sometimes hard to understand). I’m not concerned for the long term, just that it might make things harder, especially given how intense her personality can be (like when I put her down and she flops to the ground and lies on the pavement, on her belly, because she didn’t want to go down, apparently, and I sadly didn’t understand her unexpressed wishes).

So I am really excited when she says new stuff. So far she has said words that have disappeared, like “donne” (for give in French) or something that sounded like “cat”. But she says “Maman”, her brother’s name (hard to understand but clear in context), “meow”, “uh-oh”, “ee-hah”, something that sounds a bit like “duck”, “yeah”, and now she says “moo” and “baby”, the last one while pointing at her chest, which is super-cute. Of course, she understands a lot more than she can say. She nods her head, more and more at appropriate times. She give kisses – especially when scolded for hitting, she’s a manipulative baby. She know who Papa is, but calls him Maman. When I ask her where her brother is, she goes and finds him (usually hiding under his covers). When she sees our neighbor, she holds her arms out to be picked up, then points at her door saying “meow-meow”, therefore clearly asking the neighbor to take her to see the cats. She also tries to repeat things, not able to form words but imitating the tone of our voices. Like on Halloween night when  she couldn’t say “thank you” but would make an “aah-aah” sound with the same intonation.

And in the meantime, my son is saying more and more French. The progress is painfully slow, but it’s there. When I play with my daughter and say repetitive sentences he often starts saying them too. Yesterday he attempted changing pronouns – going from something like “this is for you” to “this is for me”. Seems easy, but he has never used pronouns in French, since he never spoke French sentences, only random nouns. So he’s learning.

And I’m watching and over-analyzing…

2 Responses to “Language development”

  1. Mireille Says:

    Je ne peux pas te dire si ta fille est normale ou pas dans l’apprentissage du langage, mais une chose est certaine, je te confirme à 100% que ton fils était «anormal» à ce niveau là. C’était incroyable de l’entendre parler aussi franc avec des phrases bien construites à un si jeune âge. Je suis certaine que «tout va venir à point pour qui sait attendre» pour ta fille…

  2. sophie Says:

    Ma voisine orthophoniste nous disait qu’un bébé doit dire 10 mots à 18 mois. Je ne sais pas si c’est la “norme” ou le “minimum” en-deçà duquel il faut s’inquiéter (je soupçonne que c’est le deuxième étant donné la nature de son travail), mais ma fille a 14 mois et dit environ 10 mots déjà (et il en arrive de nouveaux tous les jours). Alors je ne m’inquiète pas du tout pour son côté normal. Et je confirme le côté anormal de mon fils!