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.