Sam is now 19 months old. Whenever I stop to acknowledge his age, I'm struck with how fast the time moves.
Sam is a toddler. A full-blown toddler. He runs, he jumps (maybe an inch off the floor), he throws, he sometimes catches, he climbs on furniture, he draws, he is demanding and particular and throws tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants. Tonight he begged to play guitar. He wants to play the real acoustic guitar, not play things that he used to accept as guitars. And he doesn't want me to hold it. Or even prop it up. He wants to hold it like the real guitar players do. And he likes to use a pick. And He won't even let me prop it up or adjust it. He pushes my hands away if I brace it for him. And he cries if he can't hold it right or if it slips down and isn't upright enough. And he was devastated when we (mom & dad) decided that was enough guitar and had to put it away. Maybe we will just have to get him one of those little kid guitars after all. Or a ukulele. Rockin' the ukulele.
So I'm officially in worry mode about the talking stuff. I don't necessarily think I probably should be, but I am. I started doing some Internet searching about it (always foolish) and Sam is probably totally fine, but...what if he isn't? See, I just don't know that much about speech development. We (those who are around Sam a lot) have been trying to convince him to talk more. The thing is, he really hasn't had to learn to talk. He signs up a storm and communicates so well without it that there hasn't been much incentive. So we are now trying to get him to say things before we give them to him -- stuff like that. We are having moderate success. Not a ton. He sometimes says ball, kinda like bow (like bow-wow). And I think he tried to say banana. Let me see if I can make a list of the "words" Sam uses (this will be redundant) ... he has sounds to signify Mom, a sound/sign to signify Meg, a sound for Clyde, The Who, the song Barbara Ann, Nemo...he sort of has said inconsistently: bubbles, banana, rainbow, ball (that's fairly consistent). He still has lots of signs, though some (like "help") seem to have gone out of fashion: thirsty/water, hungry, sleep (doesn't do anymore), ball, fort (he made it up), dog, bubbles, guitar (made up), apple, cookie, more, cake, orange, play, book, throw it away/put that down (made up)...
Anecdotally, it seems Sam is fine. I feel like most parents I talk to say that their son didn't talk until he was 2 or older, and then he didn't stop! So he's probably fine, but then I read stuff like this:
13 to 18 months
Now your child is using one or more words, and he knows what they mean. He'll even practice inflection, raising his tone when asking a question, saying "Up-py?" when he wants to be carried, for example. He's realizing the importance of language as he taps into the power of communicating his needs.
19 to 24 months
Though he probably says about 50 to 70 words now, your child may understand as many as 200 words, many of which are nouns. Between 18 and 20 months, he'll learn words at the rate of 10 or more a day (so watch your language!). He'll even string two words together, making basic sentences such as "Carry me."
By the time he's 2, your child will use three-word sentences and sing simple tunes. His sense of self will mature, and he'll start talking about what he likes and doesn't like, what he thinks and feels. Pronouns may confuse him, which is why he might say "Baby throw" instead of "I throw."
And Sam doesn't really match these descriptions. But maybe he does, because of the signing. And maybe the 50-70 word count of 19-24 months is just intimidating because there is so much development in that time span.
I just always start worrying that I'm doing something wrong. Am I not playing with him in the right way? Do I not devote enough attention to him?
So maybe I will call to get the referral to the speech therapy people. At least then I'll have some more credible information. Even if all I find out is that Sam is doing fine.
In closing, a funny Sam thing: He now is picky about what he wears! He has favorite clothes (including: pistons sweatshirt, hulk t shirt, mr. t shirt, purple monster shirt...) he will pick his favorites out of the drawer and if you suggest something else, he'll throw it down. So funny. I didn't know kids this age began to have preferences about what they wore! I guess I'll have to start letting him do the shopping...
After posting, I read this about when to be concerned:
13 to 18 months
Your child isn't saying any words by 15 months (including "mama" or "dada"), didn't babble before his first birthday, is unable to point to any body parts, or you still can't understand a word he's saying by 18 months.
19 to 24 months
Your child rarely attempts to speak or imitate others, drops consonants from words (saying "ea-ut" for "peanut," for example), doesn't seem to get frustrated when you can't understand what he wants, or only uses single words — no combinations.
And I guess he doesn't meet any of these criteria either...he knows lots and lots of body parts (hair, head, eye, nose, ear, mouth, teeth, tongue, neck, tummy, arm, hand, fingers, toes, feet, legs, bottom...) and is babbling and we understand somethings he's saying and he gets frustrated when we can't understand what he wants, but usually he can convey it through sign or body language...