Sunday, 10 February 2013

First time parents

Maria at five months
For the first two years we'd walk down the street and people would notice Maria and make admiring comments; we'd hear them as they passed. Some would stop quite suddenly and exclaim how gorgeous she was! We thanked them and walked on, feeling like we had the most beautiful child in the world. This became so common, I began to suspect we really did have a very special daughter on our hands. I even began to worry that she might be stolen; my first paranoia as a parent. 

It wasn't until Maria reached the age of two that we started to worry about the missed milestones, particularly speech. She was doing a lot of babbling and would rant for ages incomprehensibly. This became particularly obvious between the ages of two and three. The paediatricians described this as "expressive speech delay". Her receptive skills (understanding speech) were normal, which confused us even more! 

Our concerns really started when she reached the age of three but was still only babbling. We felt we needed to get to the bottom of this, despite the stories that friends and colleagues would tell us of their own children not speaking until the age of x (where x is a positive integer between three and five). We'd already tried every trick in the book to get her to speak. Maria was our first child, so we really weren't very sure of ourselves. Were we doing something wrong? Were we lousy parents? Everyone else seemed able to "teach" their children to speak - surely it couldn't be this hard!  

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