Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bad Habits

I have a bad habit.  I really really bad habit.  I incessantly compare Icie's development and progress to other blog babies her age.  I know, it's crazy.  I don't even know these babies in real life.  I am simply going on the very adoring words of proud mamas. 
There are things I KNOW about Icie.  I know she's intelligent.  I know she's a manipulator.  I know she is more capable then I give her credit for. 
The thing I worry the most about is her speech.  I'm pretty sure it's unfounded.  I guess when I read about a two year old saying this or that, I get a little concerned.  I think to myself, could Icie articulate that?  What I need to take into account is the fact that what a mama understands from her baby and what is audible to the rest of us, isn't as clear as a nicely worded blog post would have you believe. 
All that being said, a few days ago at Target my concerns about her speech eased a bit.  Icie babbles and holds conversations ALL day long.  I maybe understand about fifty percent of what she says.  I know she absorbs a lot, but I'm not always sure how she's processing things. 
So we were in Target just kind of wondering around, not looking for anything in particular.  I picked up a package of markers in the stock up section they always have in January.  I handed the markers to Icie to hold.  I continued wandering.  Icie pointed to different markers in the pack, insisting they were all "yell-whoa".  I tried to incorporate a color lesson into our aimless wondering.  Icie continued to insist everything was yellow.  I gave up,  "Okay they are all yellow"  and then I just kinda sorta tuned out her rambles as I pushed my cart through the store. 
I was still in my Target induced haze when the sound of Icie counting the markers made me tune her back in.  "one, two, free, five, six, seben, eight..."  I counted again with her making sure to add in the always forgotten four with added oomph.  Then I tuned out again.  
A few minutes later, almost to the end of usual route around the store, and I tuned back in.  Icie was counting again, in SPANISH.  In Spanish the four was not forgotten and it was a perfect run the whole way to ten. 
Now that I'm aware of this skill, it's become my favorite "trick".  I will yell randomly across the room during the day, "Hey Icie count in Spanish!"  and she does almost every time. 
Now some of you who know my husband, may think this skill is unremarkable.  Dave's first language is Spanish, but  I swear the only Spanish Icie hears from him is Cuban slang, warnings to calm down and watch herself.  There's also the occasional calling out to God when we are both grinding his nerves. 
The Spanish is courtesy of  Miss Icie listening to Dora, Diego, and Handy Manny.  It's sad I know, but it also makes me feel good about her development.  She is retaining something she has learned and applying it in the appropriate manner. 
Now I just need to work on opening my ears and listening to what she is really saying.  It's so easy to tune out.  So now Icie and I are both working together to listen.  Icie's language isn't always clear to me, as I'm sure mine isn't always clear to her, but it's getting easier. 
A few times a day, I turn everything off, put everything down, and just sit on the floor with her and listen.  I mean really listen.  Then when I'm done listening,  I ask Icie if her ears are open and I try to get her to listen to me.  Icie works on following directions and I work on my patience.
I have learned that I need to worry less about other kids' development, and less about Icie's development and more about my own. 


  1. I absolutely love this post. It speaks to everyone with children. We ALL do it. Icie is perfect <3 The Pakulski's miss her (and YOU) and love her to bitsssssss!

  2. Yay! GO ICIE!! I'm developing a complex with Mason's speech, too. He's almost 20 months old and has yet to say a word!

  3. Icie is perfect. Period. And you shouldn't worry about her one bit. Easier said than done I know. I'm constantly comparing Pie to her cousin who is only 6 weeks older. It makes me crazy and is stupid, but I still do it.

  4. You and I are in the SAME boat here. I have the exact concerns with Anna all the time. Just like you, I'm constantly questioning whether or not Anna could articulate certain things that other mothers are saying their children are articulating. Then she dazzles me with some new concept, and I feel all calm with the world again.

    And I also agree that the majority of what she says is only understandable to me, but she does understand and she does articulate - she just does it in Anna-speak.

    I have to constantly remind myself not to compare her to other children. A good friend of mine was telling me all of the new words her daughter was saying. I felt a little concerned since Anna wasn't there yet, and she said, "Yeah, but my daughter can't jump and climb like Anna." So, it reminded me, once again, that every child is different and some may excel in certain areas.

    And WTG, Icie, for counting to 10 in Spanish. That's awesome!

  5. I'll be honest, I've convinced myself that some mamas MUST be exaggerating the truth. What may be one mangled word turns into a complete sentence on the blog. Who knows really?

    I worried about Jack until I spent an entire day paying attention and making a list of all his words. There were a lot more words than I even realized!


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