Daniel is becoming a little person. Ok, yeah, that sounds ridiculous. Of course he’s a person, right? He’s not a robot (who else remembers Small Wonder from the 80s?). It’s just that children are categorized typically as developmental stages: newborns then infants then toddlers, and you can sometimes forget that your child isn’t [pick developmental stage of choice] but a little person with likes and dislikes, opinions and a personality.
I was concerned about Daniel’s speech for several months. I knew he understood everything, but he didn’t verbalize very much. I talked to the pediatrician (who wasn’t worried). I Googled obsessively. I reminded myself that he is a boy, and boys sometimes speak later than girls. It’s not that he didn’t speak; it’s just that he was stubborn about it. And then one day a few months ago, he started speaking and now he’s chattering like crazy. Just like everyone said he would.
His speech has begun to alter story time. A few days ago, he demanded, “Doodle read” the next book. After J and I melted into a puddle of goo at the cuteness, we read it, and he filled in the words perfectly. We were stunned. He knows the titles of the books and says them when he wants them read. He mimics our intonation. Sometimes I can almost believe he is actually reading and not just remembering what we’ve read over and over and over.
One of our favorite books to read him is Good Night Little Pookie by the fabulous Sandra Boynton. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a simple, sweet story about a mother pig getting her little boy piglet ready for bed, and it’s a two-person story because Pookie has lines too. This week, I discovered we can read our respective parts. I can be Momma Pig, and Daniel can be Pookie. And he nails it perfectly.
Is this remarkable? Probably Not. It’s just a sign that my little boy is growing and developing. He’s not simply a toddler. He’s Daniel. He’s a little boy who is observing the world around him and participating in it.
Tomorrow, as we prepare our meal and eat it, I will be giving thanks for him. Maybe next year he’ll be saying what he is thankful for.