So some of you are aware that my son was basically half-deaf for the first two years of his life. Even though I spent a full year fighting with pediatricians to give him the necessary surgery, Vincent's hearing (and subsequently, his speech development) suffered terribly.
Ever since having his tubes placed in September, he's made tons of progress. He's been working regularly with a speech therapist, and has recently figured out how to lace a few words together for basic requests. He's still about eight months behind the rest of his peers, but he's making progress.
Sometimes, however, that progress seems painfully slow to me, and it makes me want to lash out at folks who simply don't know any better.
For example, when I take Vincent to the store, there will inevitably be some nice person who wants to ask Vincent for his name and age. They mean well, and they obviously have no way of knowing that he's delayed in speech (and thus, comprehension). However, when they press him repeatedly even after my quick "His name is Vincent and he's a big boy at two years old!" I get agitated FOR him. I want to protect him from the confused looks and the subsequent, "Doesn't he talk already?" questions. Again, keep in mind that (because of his sheer size) Vince looks a year older than he actually is (he's only 2.5)
Then I end up feeling like a horrible mother because, in all honesty, he SHOULD be talking by now (at least better than he is), and maybe if I'd've fought a little harder on the ear surgery, this wouldn't be a problem for him. Maybe all of this is the result of my laziness in regards to reading to him often enough, talking to him enough, or forcing him to use words to communicate with me.
I don't know.
Some days you just end up feeling like a parental failure, and for me, this is one of those days.
One of my friends posted a video of her son singing a song. It was adorable and I was so happy to see my friend and her son sharing such a sweet moment with us. However, something inside made me want to cry because Vincent is nowhere near this little one's capacity (and Vince is almost a full year older than him!). Immediately the doubt began to rush over me.
I must not be coaxing him to talk enough.
Maybe I'm not spending enough time verbalizing with him.
I should read to him more often.
I should SING to him more often.
Maybe we should up the speech therapist to three times a week.
I can't wait until his hearing appointment, because God forbid the tubes fell out and he's already blocked again.
Should I try to bump the appointment? Maybe they can see us today.
It's enough to make a mother go insane.
I have to keep taking deep breaths and realize that Vince IS making progress. No, he's not spouting off his name and age and silly songs perfectly, but at least he's making headway. He can sing a good portion of Team Umizoomi's theme, and the lyrics for Fresh Beat songs? Pfft... Even if he can't get 'em out, he definitely knows them.
There's nothing inherently WRONG with Vincent. He's developmentally ahead of his peers in every single area except verbal / comprehension. I realize this has everything to do with the fact that he couldn't hear for the first two years of his life. I realize that catching up will take time. I realize that he's already made so much progress. I realize all of this. Even so, sometimes you just feel like you're not doing enough and because of your parenting failures, your child suffers.
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