Alice Juliet- An Unbirthday Post

Today, Alice is two and a half. (Yes, I still celebrate her half birthday -- we call it an "un-birthday," like Alice in Wonderland, and I got her a couple dollar spot presents -- because she's a spoiled only child. šŸ˜ I haven't done one of these posts in forever, not even for her actual second birthday, which is kind of pathetic, but here we are. She has grown and changed so much over the past several months, and I just want a record (outside of Facebook, since who knows what's going on over there with all the privacy issues! ha!) of how things are right now.

No personality at all. 

I'm about to be really transparent for a minute, so buckle up. We noticed around 18 months that Alice wasn't talking as much as a lot of kids her age, so of course we kept track of her speech development for the next several months. At her two-year checkup, her doctor recommended speech therapy. That's a long story, but the short version is that we took her for an evaluation and she didn't qualify, due to her age and several other factors. We also scheduled an audiology appointment to check her hearing, which was also totally fine.

Since there were no other concerns (she follows directions, understands us, has no relational issues, etc.) we decided to wait it out, and that's where we still are. The therapist even said that her comprehension is off the charts and that she is just absorbing everything and will talk on her own terms. (That's appropriate because she pretty much lives her whole life that way!) Her progress of the last few months has been slow but steady, and she is saying more words all the time.

Here's the transparent part: the last year (specifically the last 6-9 months) has been very hard for me. Selfishly, I want my little girl to be talking and saying all the cute and funny things her cousins and little friends are saying. I know that's dumb; I know comparing her to other kids doesn't help. It's not even so much about the comparison as knowing how much I love it when she does talk and feeling like I'm missing out on more of that. (I realize I have a lifetime of her talking to look forward to, but I'm just dealing with the present moment. =) And, of course, there is the constant frustration, for her and for me and Jonathan, with a communication gap and trying to discipline her (among other things) without her being able to articulate what she wants or needs. (P.S. Saying "one day you'll wish she couldn't talk!" is not helpful and not true. Trust me. šŸ˜‰

I have cried many tears through all this and not been as trusting as I should. I've beat myself for even getting upset about it when she is perfectly healthy and other moms are dealing with much more serious problems. Still, at the end of the day, it's been stressful. I have worried myself into a tizzy over it many times. And even as she is starting to (slowly but surely) talk more, I have made it about me (as I do) and questioned how I could let this happen. I read to her, I talk to her, I give her educationally stimulating toys. Why am I such a failure?? (I know, it's irrational; welcome to my brain.)

Thinking deep thoughts

Finally, though, really just in the past month or so, I have come to terms with the situation and finally feel at peace about it- not entirely, but I'm getting there. Alice is talking, growing, learning, and she will be totally fine. (She's just now two and a half, which is too young to even be considered delayed by many doctors.) But the Lord has helped me to be okay with it and given me hope and peace for the future, and another thing I've been doing that helps is to intentionally note things about her that I like and love (beyond her adorable face). Here they are:

Things I Love about Alice:

- She loves musicals. I have talked about this many times before, but her love of old movies and musicals is still going strong, although we have now successfully incorporated a few animated movies to the mix (she's loving The Aristocats and Charlotte's Web. Clearly the girl has a preference for the Sherman Brothers). I love that she laughs at these movies, dances, gets so into them... the whole shebang. She loves it.

- Speaking of musicals... at the end of literally every song in every movie, she begins to applaud with wild enthusiasm. It's hysterical and she does it every single time, like clockwork. It never fails to delight me.

- Like her mama, she likes to clean and organize. (Granted, she' a champion mess-maker too, but at least she likes to clean them up!) She loves to help me with laundry and dishes, put her toys away, put her shoes and socks away, etc. It's so cute and fills my neat freak heart with joy.

- She is obedient. I mean, she's two, so it's not like she bats a thousand here, but for the most part, she does what we tell her to do, and more consistently than a lot of kids much older than she is.

-She is a tough girl! She definitely cries over absolutely nothing (like getting weighed at the doctor today... #staaahp) but when she falls (which she does a lot because she runs everywhere) or gets hurt in any way she hardly ever even makes a whimper- just gets right back up and goes on. She definitely didn't get that from me.

- A lot of my friends with kids this age deal with picky eaters, but Alice doesn't know the meaning of those words. Ha! She does have foods she prefers but she is good about trying new things and, inexplicably, her favorite food is sauerkraut. Who knows?

- She loves a routine. Morning, afternoon, bedtime, bath time... she knows where to go and what to do and wants to do it that way every time. Even more than when she was a baby, she thrives on a schedule.

- She is a great sleeper. Her naps are still not as consistent as I'd like, although they're much better these days since she's so busy and wears herself out, but she sleeps 12 hours just about every single night, which is possibly the greatest gift I've received in motherhood. šŸ™Œ

-And, of course, she's sweet and loving and beautiful and affectionate (at least with me) and hilarious and just a little sunshine. (Remind me of these words the next time she throws a tantrum.)

Seriously, even with her speech issues and typical two-year-old antics, she genuinely brings joy to everyone around her, even strangers. I love her so much and I don't ever want to forget how grateful I am for a healthy, happy little girl. Her doctor told us today that she's perfect. I will take his professional opinion and run with it. šŸ’—

Very Merry Un-birthday to you, my darling girl. Mama loves you to pieces!

1 comment

  1. Ash!!! It breaks my heart that you're going through this with her. We had the flip side of this and dealt with delays in gross motor skills. Gracie didn't walk until she was almost two, and I was sick with worry for a year. Like seriously nauseated with fear, even though I knew in my gut she was fine. There was no reason for it, she was completely fine and healthy, she just didn't feel the need to walk. We also decided to sit out therapy and wait for it to happen naturally. I know these are different things, but I COMPLETELY understand the stress/fear/anxiety/guilt/judgment that comes from others. Alice is THE CUTEST little thing ever, and one day it will all click and she'll talk your ear off. And you will love it :)


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