Posts Tagged ‘ speech ’

Our 1st Parent Teacher Conference

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

On Friday, Mommy and I went to your school for our first ever routine parent teacher conference. Most of what Ms. Lauren told us about you, we already knew:

That you’re obsessed with trucks and you love to be the line leader.

But what is a bit suprising is that, at school, you never stop talking!

As for me, I was a fairly quiet kid until about the 4th grade; so I sort of assumed the same would be for you.


In fact, you’re so talkative, that Ms. Lauren told us, sort of half-jokingly, that you’re the tatttletell of the class.

When she tells another student to do something, you inform her of your classmate’s failure to comply with the instructions.

It’s not a big surprise, considering what I do for a living is very HR-based. In essense, I tattletale on adults all day long at my job in the office…

Of course, not everything you chat about in class is informing your teacher about your classmates. You also put your teacher in this situation where she is constantly having to make sense of the stories you tell her.

She hears the detailed list of cars that you and I see on the way to school each morning.

Ms. Lauren commented to Mommy and me, “Are there really that many pink trucks and SUVs in Nashville?”

Probably not.

It’s just that you never forget seeing one the first time and it ends up in the regular rotation of your conversation play list.

Nonetheless, you always have plenty to talk about at school. Here I thought that was just with Mommy and I at home, since a lot of the times we see you interact with others, you are shy.

Now we know, you’ve got a lot to say, and Mommy and I aren’t the only ones hearing it.




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My 2 And A Half Year-Old Stutters… So What?

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

2 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

About a month ago or so, you began stuttering regularly.

You suddenly had trouble getting through any sentence that had the word “he” in it:

“He-he-he-he-he-he-he-he-he-he drives a purple truck?”

There for a few weeks, it got pretty bad. So I began Googling “my 2 and a half year-old stutters.”

I read that you should outgrow your stuttering within a few months, but if it persisted for more than 6 months, that at that point it might be a good idea to take you to a specialist.

At the same time, one of my coworkers was telling me that she and her husband had recently took their own stuttering 2 and a half-year old to a specialist; who basically said, “Don’t worry about it. Your child will probably outgrow it.”

Within a few weeks, his stuttering began diminishing.

The funny thing is, now that I think about it, you’re not really stuttering like you were a month ago.

Although the word “he” still trips you up some of the time, as does “why,” I can recognize that your stuttering seems to be more of a nearly forgettable phase.

Actually, that’s why I’m writing about it to you today- to document it so that a year from now I actually remember it happened.

I wonder if it’s a common thing for 2 and a half year-old’s to go through a stuttering phase? The fact I so easily found matching results on Google would lead me to believe so.

So in this case, Google was right. Mommy and I did best not to freak out about it and instead just let it run its course.

Sure, some children surely do have ongoing stuttering issues, which I am not intending to underestimate. (I am not a doctor nor am I giving medical advice of any kind; just sharing a personal experience.)

As for you, though, yours appears to just be a phase that is fading away.




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Dad Speaks To 2-Year-Old Son On 12th Grade Reading Level

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

2 years.

Dear Jack,

I just never could bring myself to talk to you like you were a baby, even when you actually were a baby.

The closest I ever came was back when you were 7 months old, when one of my ongoing bits with you was to say, ”Ya wanna give ya Daddy-Waddy a kissy-wissy on da wippy-wippy-wippies?”

Basically, I was trying to playfully annoy you by puckering up real big and acting like I was about to kiss you on the lips.

But clearly, I was mocking the concept of “talking baby talk” to you. To actually talk to you the way I was supposed to, all cutesy… just the thought of it somehow made me feel phony.

So since the very beginning, I’ve always spoken to you like an adult. And really, so has Mommy.

You’re 2 years old now and we haven’t changed the way we speak to you. But you, on the other hand, definitely have changed the way you communicate with us.

You are now regularly speaking in 5 word sentences. I know that you grasp a good majority of what I tell you, even if you still haven’t figured out the meaning of the phrase, “I don’t know.”

(Right now, your version of “I don’t know” is just to simply look down at whatever Thomas the Train toy is in your hand until I change the subject.)

The main reason I love the fact you can understand what I say now is because I can more efficiently give you realistic expectations, which helps prevent surprising disappointments.

For example, when it’s nearing time for Nonna and Papa to go back home after a weekend of staying with us, I look you in the eyes and map out the plan so that you are not ambushed and consumed with anxiety a couple of hours later:

“Listen, Jack. I want you to know what to expect. After we eat lunch, it’s going to be time for Nonna and Papa to go back home. So make the most of this time because it will be a few more weeks before you will see them again.”

I am not worried about saying words that are too big for you to understand, because at this point, that would include a lot of words.

For what it’s worth, you can now say the name of Mommy’s home state: “California.” You pull it off quite well.

The way I see it, my use of words beyond your comprehension level (and/or reading level) is a good thing.

Besides, you’re used to it by now: You have a Daddy who has an English degree and a job in writing. For all practical purposes, I’m Ross Geller.

I have a feeling you are going to be one articulate little boy. Can you say “articulate?”

No, seriously… can you?





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Parenting a Tongue Tied Baby

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Week 5.

I chose not to go public about Jack being tongue tied, maybe in a subconscious attempt to avoid being overwhelmed with polarizing schools of advice before my wife and I had time to assess the situation ourselves and learn what would truly be best for him.  We realized after just the first couple of days after Jack was born that he wasn’t able to feed like other babies.  He could never get a good latch nor could he take more than a few sips of milk before crying and making a gurgling sound.  Actually, I never knew that being tongue tied was a real thing.  I just thought it was a phrase people used to describe momentarily not being able to successfully speak.  In case you haven’t already clicked on the Wikipedia link in the first sentence or already know this, some babies are born with that “skin bridge” attached too closely for them to stick out their tongues very far.

In Jack’s case, it meant extreme difficulty in feeding.  For more extreme cases, a tongue tied baby may grow up to become a child or adult with a speech impediment.  So last Thursday, we drove back to Vanderbilt in Nashville and had Jack’s tongue clipped.  I consider it a 2nd circumcision of sorts.  In fact, I was offered the chance to watch the procedure, so I did.  It was everything you would imagine. Just a few quick cuts.  I highly recommend it if your infant or child is tongue tied.

Since Thursday, the silver coating the doctor sprayed on the lacerations has been slowly peeling off.  So in a few more days, he should be out of pain and be able to begin learning to feed normally, with a tongue that can reach past his lips.  So if you have a tongue tied baby, and you’re asking for my opinion, just get it clipped. It’s no big deal and it sure beats having to wonder how much easier feeding could have been and whether your child will have difficulty speaking.

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