We've all heard the little saying "Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words can never hurt me." And we all know that it is definitely NOT true. Words often times cause wounds that take ions longer to heal than a flesh wound. And yesterday I fell victim to words, or rather the lack thereof. Allow me to explain.
For about the last 4 months I have had moments of concern regarding Kyra's communication skills. I read things on parenting websites and monitor other children Kyra's age (and some much younger) regarding spoken words. I struggle as I try not to make comparisons. But with each day that passes, I grow more wary of the fact that Kyra appears to be behind the "average" child her age in terms of talking.
Her pediatrician was not at all worried when I took her for her 2 year check up, but she did give me a referral to have Kyra's hearing screened should I continue to be concerned. I thanked her and filed the paperwork away, feeling very optimistic that Kyra's vocabulary would pick up any day. And I am still hopeful of that, but yesterday really tested my hope and faith.
It started at the very beginning of our day, before I'd even fed her breakfast. Kyra took to whining and fussing as a form of communication, entirely forsaking the small vocabulary that she does have. I did my best to encourage her to use her words to tell me what she wanted or needed. I asked questions that begged her to just afford me a little yes or no. But as the day wore on, her whining turned to full blown crying and the fussing became temper tantrums that flung her onto the floor. And I did my best to stay the course, to keep my patience with God's help. And He covered me with His grace and allowed me to stay calm all day long as I continued to try and encourage her to speak.
When Jim came home he immediately said I looked frazzled and I told him all about my day. He took over the role of encourager, but had little more success than I had all day. By the time I was getting into bed, the weight of the day came crashing down on top of me and I found myself sobbing as I talked to God about it. Of course He already knew what I was going through and how I was feeling, but I needed to release it all to Him because it was too heavy a burden to carry on my own. And so I told God that I just want to be able to begin to have little conversations with my daughter. I want her to tell me what she wants. What she needs. What she likes. What makes her happy. Where she hurts. I want to hear her call me mommy. I want to listen to her talk about Jesus. I want to teach her how to pray.
And after I got it all off my chest, I asked for peace and for rest. And He gave me both. And today is a new day. Although I didn't wake to find Kyra rambling on in full sentences, she has been using some words today and that has once again restored my hope. I like to imagine that months from now I'll read this post and laugh because I will have seen God's goodness in Kyra's and my own life. I will be getting bombarded with questions from an inquiring toddler on a minute to minute basis and just when I am at the pinnacle of being annoyed, I'll thank God for it.
As an encouragement to myself, below is a list of words that Kyra does say (although most are slightly mispronounced):
mama (although she doesn't seem to connect me with the term)
chay chay (Chase, our dog)
nana (for banana)