The Time I Told My Child With Speech Delays To Stop Talking


Yesterday I posted a story about our daughter’s “profound” speech delay and you left such kind and supportive comments. It means a lot to my husband and I that people care so much. But it also makes me feel like a bit of a dick. Like my sharing/over-sharing about recent trials is an attempt at garnering sympathy or even worse, asking for a pat on the back for stellar parenting. I’m not a stellar parent. I’m just a parent who is crazy about her kids and wants the best for them. Pretty par for the course I’d say. We all want that for our children. We can’t even help it—it’s instinctual.

A few people commented on how patient I am. Very lovely to say, but it made me laugh. If only they had seen me this morning…

We were running late and I asked Avery to put on her socks. The first time I made eye contact, got her attention by saying her name, and spoke slowly and simply—”Avery, put on your socks.”

She didn’t put on her socks.

I found her a few minutes later playing with ‘Veterinarian Barbie’ so I asked, “Avery, what did I ask you to do?” She looked at me blankly so I reminded her. “Please put on your socks. We’re going to be late!” I spoke quickly and used too many words. It’s no surprise she was still sockless a few minutes later, now playing with the cat.

I didn’t say anything this time. I just looked down at her bare feet with my hands on my hips. Her response to this classic ‘annoyed mom pose’ was, “Uh oh…”

“Yes, uh oh. Put…on…your…socks.” This came out as a menacing growl.

When I returned from brushing my teeth, I found her stuffing Veterinarian Barbie and her accessories into her school bag. Her socks were on the floor beside her.

I squawked, “Avery Thornbury!!! Put on your socks. NOW!!”

How’s that for patient?

Now that we were really late, I helped her put on her socks. And her shoes. Lesson learned? If you stall long enough, mummy will just do it for you.

Big brother, the one who likes to “conversate” as much as his mama, had been chatting up a storm this entire time. I can’t remember the topic because I was only half listening. I offered up the occasional “Oh ya? Cool.” To what I was responding, I have no idea. Stellar. Parenting.

The icing on the cake is that as I was reading and recording the story to include with the post, Avery was watching TV behind me (Yup, I put her in front of her favourite show so I could have a few free minutes). Every time I read her name she yelled, “Me?!?” Even when she left the room to use the bathroom, she shouted from afar, “You be talking bout me mummy?!” Of course I started laughing and had to start over. After being interrupted during my fourth attempt to share the story of Avery’s speech delay I told her to stop talking. I literally said in a very frustrated voice, “Avery, stop talking please!” The irony of this is not lost on me.

Anyway, thank you so much for always supporting us, for cheering us on, for laughing with/at us and for making me feel like I’m a good parent, even when some days, I kinda suck.

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