Quiet Baby :) Quiet Toddler :(

My son Nolan has recently started speech therapy.

When Nolan was young, I referred to him as a “puddle baby.” Nolan often lay silently on the ground watching and listening to the world around him. Babysitters referred to him as the good baby, in contrast to his twin brother Carl, who often was described as "having a pair of lungs on him."

Now my quiet baby has become a quiet toddler, which doesn't have the same positive connotation.

Quiet Baby = easy to babysit

Quiet Toddler = child who enters room, grabs your arm, pulls you to kitchen, points to cupboard that contains all snacks he may want, stares at you while you ask what he wants, cries on floor (sometimes in complete silence), then goes off empty-handed rather than ever telling you what he wanted.

Parents of twins may be familiar with the issue of having a “spokestwin” (and parents with two or more kids have probably experienced this in a spokes-older-sibling form): a twin who comes and asks for two biscuits leaving the other twin with no need to develop his or her own language skills.

I was warned about this, but trying to get both children to ask for their own snack using words while you are trying to unpack the dishwasher, send an e-mail, change at least one nappy (sometimes two), clean somewhere between one and four hands, get dressed, have a shower, use the bathroom and probably two other things, is harder than it sounds.

I tried really hard, but sometimes I don't have time to do things right and so I didn't always do it right. When I did, I felt obliged to give them the ridiculously unhealthy snack they managed to pronounce the first letter of in order to reinforce the behaviour. (I did eventually rid my house of most of the bad snacks to avoid this very thing).

At around the time they were two, I started being concerned about the speaking, mainly because Nolan wasn't even trying, but we decided to wait and see because boys can be slower and twins can be slower still, so twin boys according to everyone are basically the slowest (lucky me).

When he was 2½, we decided to take action and have him assessed. We are now two weeks in. Thankfully nothing is horribly wrong with him; he is just quiet which can have led to not developing the speech muscles as well as his loud twin.

This experience has helped me learn to trust my parent intuition. I felt that something was wrong, and I was right. I think it is important to get professional help if you feel something is just not right. You know your kids best after all! If nothing is wrong, you can at least ease your anxiety.

Posted by Grant Evans

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