All of us mommas claim this simple sentence as truth when it comes to our own kids. Momma knows best. We us it when talking to our friends about our kids, exuding pure confidence of our knowledge of our offspring. We use it when talking with our pediatrician. And a good pediatrician will listen closely to us and be able to decipher the actual issue from our mommy mumblings. We have been fortunate enough to have had two of those pediatricians in the our lives. Or, I am just overbearing enough that the doctor doesn't see the point in talking me down. Let's just go with the first thought.
We recently came across one of those momma knows best scenarios with our youngest son, Nick.When he was an infant, he was so quiet. Always smiling and happy, never dis content with anything. As he got older that contented temper stayed with him. Nothing ever really seemed to bother him, not enough anyway to verbalize it. That is the problem. He just isn't verbalizing. I first noticed this to be a concern at about 10months when he should have been a bubbling, babbling, baby. But still, he was so quiet. I asked our pediatritian on our one year visit. He wasn't too concerned. He has two older brothers that talk for him, two aware parents that understand his non verbal cues, doc said.
Fast forward a few months to our new home, visiting our new pediatrician (my husband refuses to allow me to drive the 3 hours it would take to see our former dr.- let the record reflect I gave it serious thought) who is very kind and seems very knowldgeable. I asked him the same question. "Dr. (name ommitted), I am a little concerned over his language skills (big words used in hopes he will think I am a knowledgeable parent and not a crazy worry momma). He doesn't seem to have some of the sounds I think he should by now. We are not hearing very many words." Again, Dr says, he has two older siblings that have very good language skills and life is busy. Don't worry. If you don't see the progress you want in the next couple of months call me.
Fast forward again, a couple of months. We go back. Talk again. This time we go a little deeper into devolopmental milestones. Nick is on target or ahead in every other aspect of his devolopment. Remarks of, he is very intelligent, he is very active, he is not behind at all were coming out of the dr's mouth. Tell me again what you are hearing. We go over it again. And again. Detail after detail. My voice shaking the entire time, searching my own vocabulary for the right words to give a better idea of what we see and hear. Finally after what seemed like hours of nervous discussion with quick often glances at my husband for reassurance, we (all three adults in the room) agree to see a speech therapist and have a hearing test done.
Soon after our appointment we had our appointment with a speech therapist. All my fears of poor Nick being scared of the therapist or the therapist thinking we were crazy for taking our 20 month old for speech therapy sat at the back of my throat. After all he is still so little. The speech therapist was so kind. He got down on the floor with Nick and let him wander the entire room. He talked with us (and Nick) and asked us the same questions we had answered at all our other meetings with doctors. The therapist did more devolopemental checklists, assuring us that they were not all inclusive and he only had a short time to see the actions and responses he was looking for. After quite a while ( I lost all track of time, engulfed in the knowledge of the therapist and watching my baby interact with him, oh and filling out the paper work-I loathe paperwork) he finnished his assesment and said the same thing that our other two doctors said. I was just about to scream and beg for someone to give me some useful information when he begin to talk about a "diagonsis" he thought might just be accurate. A diagonsis I thought. I felt a little twinge in my stomach. Oh my. Now what. He explained that it was most likely very minor. He encouraged us to discuss it and do our own research, also, he asked us to think about weekly sessions with him to try some different ideas. He was postitive and helpful.
I couldn't help but leave feeling a little deflated. I was really hoping we would go in there and be told that Nick was simply stubborn and we were just so adept to his non verbal cues he had no reason to speak. I had convinced myself that was the reason. Momma knew best, and that's what Momma knew. When the possibility of another viable reason came up, I was shocked. I began to question myself. Were we to busy trying to juggle our upside down life and our two older boys at those perfect learning times that we missed them? Are we not trying hard enough? Am I being lazy in my parenting and not giving him a reason to verbalize? All these questions are fluttering in my head like butterflies in my stomach. I could hardly concentrate on anything, just those questions and the answers that hadn't been found. So Momma did know best. I knew something was just not right and we were able to get some early intervention. We were also able to get good intervention and doctors in our new town. There a positives inside this worry. Now, we just need to make a decision.