Father’s Day was a great day. We ended the visit at my parents’-in-law’s (PILs) house by walking around the block. I had the DuoGlider and the As in tow, of course. We stopped at a friend of the family’s home, and showed them the kids. Apparently they’d asked my MIL if we could stop by sometime. Everyone was pleasant, and kept telling us how beautiful our children were, which was nice. A few people asked how old A1 was. I told them she will be two next month, since I’m sick and tired of giving her age in months (23 1/2… I’m sure everyone gets the point by now). Then, I hear it. I heard it through Daddy J from MIL, perhaps few another person or two I cannot remember at present, and definitely from my inner voice: “Now, is she talking?”
I constantly worry about A1 talking. Yes, she talks. Does she talk in front of other people? Not always. That used to be a big, fat “no”, but now that she spends more time with M and some of our other family members, she has come out of her shell a little bit. What resurfaces my worrying is any comment someone else makes about it, because it reinforces my anxiety. Thanks a lot, people.
What do I say? “She talks, but she has to warm up to people first.” “She’s shy.” (I hate that one, but I never have a slew of canned responses prepared, because I don’t want to broadcast my fears.
I had developmental delays as a child. Long story; future post. In short, I fear A2 may encounter some of the same issues as me. So far, she isn’t showing any signs, but when I see M talking more, it bugs me, because I am home all the time with her and A2, so why won’t she show other people what am amazing kid she is?
M shines all the time, especially in front of people. She sings. She dances. She pees on her potty. She asks me if A2, aka “Baby”, is having fun. A1 does all of that stuff, except for peeing on the potty (we are still working on that, which is fine). I see favoritism when it comes to M. Is it intentional? Maybe not. Is everything (kids videos played) geared to her likes and not A1’s? Yes. Did M mark her territory and pee on A1’s potty? Yes.
As I often do when I am unsure, I researched. I read an article with a side illustration (complete with bullet points) about introversion and how to address the introverted child. This is fabulous, but I think the key idea is to accept the introverted child for the person he or she is.
When I was a kid, I met shy toddlers. I always figured it was because they were little and always wanted their moms. It never offended me in the least. Now, every preschooler must talk. Pardon me while I call MENSA for more details on this matter.