November 12, 2008


My two year old, Tristan, will only speak one word at a time. I try and try to get him to put two words together in a row and he won't. It's an endless thing we do and my mom speculates he's just torturing me on purpose, that he really can speak but won't.

I felt like I a had a big victory getting him to say a two SYLLABLE word. That was a stretch. But with prompting he will now say "baseball"!

Most of the words he says are in the form of demands that make his life as prince of the house more comfortable and fun. Things like "gook!" (milk), "boo!" (pooh TV), "dorse!" (the movie Spirit), "dewius!" (his brother did something that made him mad), etc. Maybe the problem is we know what he's saying and we don't MAKE him do any better. I wish I were a child-rearing genius but I'm actually tremendously far to the other side of the scale, feeling inept most of the time.

I talk to him a lot, have always done so with both boys so they would hear the language and learn faster. We never used baby talk and Julius was a fast talker, a great conversationalist EARLY. I remember sitting by the crib having actually real conversations with him that made sense.

So, this morning I'm doing my usual blather on the way to daycare. We're driving through the fog and I say, "I sure love foggy days like these, Tristan. These are my favorite kind of days."

From the back seat I hear a very loud and clear, "Why?"

I nearly ran off the road. Um... er...

"Uh, well, I like it because it's quiet and gray and it feels like we're all wrapped in a blanket together, waiting for something to happen."


And that was that. Maybe my mom was right.


  1. Going back a bit in your posts, sorry, but neither of my two boys spoke before they were two - at all. They are now grown up and speaking perfectly normally, and very successful. The elder was monosyllabic for ages but the second, once started, couldn't stop and did launch into sentences straight away. You just never can tell. I used to get all sorts of worried enquiries from my in-laws, because of course my husband was using full sentences and quoting Shakespeare at six months.

  2. Yes, isn't it funny how that works? Well-meaning parents are a hoot. And in-laws are... well, in-laws!

    My mom is on me all the time because my oldest is six and still not reading. She says, "You were reading at four. He should be reading by now!"

    The upside on him not being able to read yet is that at least this way my husband and I can still spell things to each other so he won't know what we're saying although he's almost got that figured out. We might have to switch to pig latin!

    Thanks for your input. It's great to know someone else has "been there, done that."


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