Any regular reader here knows that I am keenly interested (don't say obsessed or preoccupied please!) in my children's language progress. Besides the normal parental concerns, I do have a background in teaching language so I have a real intellectual cursiousity when it comes to language in general and my own kids' language in particuliar.
They say you shouldn't compare your children. But, come on, how can you not? (By the way, it's Suzanne on the left and Max on the right)
Suzanne is, admittedly, very good with language. She began meaningful speech when she was 8 months old; she was turning the pages of books by 9 months; she was making animal sounds by 10 and also pointing to objects when asked and by 15 months she was clearly bilingual. (click here for posts about Suzanne's language development). But she couldn't crawl til she was 1 year old; she didn't stand until she was 15 months old; she didn't walk until she was 20 months old and most importantly, she didn't sleep through the night until she was 10 months old.
So at 12 months, she may have been calling me from her bed, "Mommy, morning!" but a kid can't do everything.
Max is a different beast. At 10 months, he is starting to turn pages of a book (when he's not trying to eat it), is almost crawling and cruising and walking all at once, but he's a wonderful sleeper. He doesn't use words yet, but he actively communicates in his own way.
A few months ago, I think he tried to say Mommmmm but hasn't done it since so I'm hesitant to commit to that being his first word. But he has begun repeating babble and sounds. Over the weekend, we were doing animal noises. Suzanne began quacking and Max cracked up and began saying, "gakgakgak". So the boy's linguistic brain is working but not in the same was as Suzanne's.
There are so many theories that I could put down here:
- boys speak later than girls
- Suzanne got more language input - even if it was in French- than Max because her nanny was much more stimulating than his is.
- "Kids can't do everything at once"
- I was more active in teaching her whereas I rely on more passive language for him.