Remember when Clara was a baby and I blogged her progress each month?
I know people always say this—but it really feels like yesterday.
NOT over three years ago.
Of course when I look back at pics and see the other things that were going on in our life at the same time, I realize how much time has passed—Lucy was once in Kindergarten, there was another Celebrate the BOY series, Casey learned to pickle beets, Owen played 3 seasons of baseball.
And we moved into our new home! and said goodbye to the old one.
Things have happened.
And somewhere in the middle of it all, Clara turned into a kid.
I have no more babies.
Sorry. Don’t mean to be dramatic. It’s just fun to have documented her milestones these years—since I never did that with the other kids—and to see the girl she’s turning into.
She’s a girly little goofball.
She can rarely keep a straight face and is often looking at you out of the corner of her eye.
Or she completely closes her eyes with the old “if I can’t see them, they can’t see me” act.
She loves pink. She wants to wear a dress every day of her life. She hates her hair in a ponytail. She prefers clean hands.
She like cats. Correction: she loves cats. And dogs.
She really makes me laugh!
And it’s fun to look back at baby pictures—having a better idea of her personality now—because it’s like I can see that same little person in her all along….through the serious moments and the needy ones, the sleepy faces, and the giggles.
She’s that same Clara, just a little bigger, and with so many wonderful things to learn.
Raising kids is really amazing!
How are we allowed to do this?
The biggest thing that’s changed since my last update is that she talks!
If you follow me on instagram (@danamadeit) I’ve mentioned a few times that Clara doesn’t say much, but I’ve never gone into the details of it all.
Maybe because there aren’t any real details.
We don’t know why she’s speech delayed, but she’s about a year behind her peers.
When she was 2 years old I didn’t worry too much about it, since the other two kids were late talkers. But by 2 1/2 she still wasn’t progressing. So we went to see a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) to have an evaluation done, and we had her hearing checked as well.
The good news is that her comprehension is right on-par for her age, and her hearing checks out fine. It’s always amazing how much you can communicate with your child without words. 90% of the time I know exactly what she wants and needs and what’s bugging her. But I know there is so much more she wants to share with us. Maybe your child is experiencing, or has gone through speech issues too?
Our pathologist wondered if it was apraxia of speech, which is more of a neurological disorder rather than a muscle issue. But as Clara learns and progresses, we’ve ruled that out. Mostly she has an articulation problem–trouble making the proper sounds—and her language is behind as well, but largely because she can’t articulate what she wants to right now.
BUT. She has made huge progress in the last 6 months since we started therapy!
I am amazed.
For the last year I watched her peers spouting off sentences with detailed words like “eagle” rather than just “bird” and all I hoped was that one day Clara could simply say, “milk?”
Of course it’s silly to compare our kids to other kids, because each child has their own timeline. It’s the same battle we face as adults—the compare and contrast.
Why do we do that to ourselves?
It seems extra ridiculous as I type this out.
But it’s hard to accept when your child (or yourself) has an issue. I know there are children and parents dealing with more challenging situations and my heart goes out to them. I don’t mean to make light of the struggles many families go thru. Clara’s speech delay is not severe and over the years, it will come together. But this has given me a glimpse of that parental feeling of just wanting your child to “be normal”. Well, normal in the sense of hitting the normal milestones—yet still being unique in their own special way. I guess we all want to fit in and feel accepted….which ironically, despite my fears, is exactly how her school friends treat her. They love her! When Clara walks in the room the girls yell “Clara!” and smother her with hugs. And I want to cry.
So, we continue to see a Speech Pathologist once a week and we work on words with her at home (both with flashcards and with this cool app called Little Bee Speech). And little by little it’s coming together. Just this week she said to me, “Mom. Watch a show?….turn it up please.”
Um, no we’re not going to watch a show right now….but a sentence! A (mostly) full sentence!
She can now say many of the colors, family names, she says “I love you” at bed time, and so many more words. And most of all she’s making real efforts to try and say new words, to mimic sounds….which is a huge improvement.
So we’ll get there with our Clara Cat.
What a blessing she is to our family, as are your kids in your lives.
Parenting is one of the hardest things most of us will ever do. But it has rewards you can never gain anywhere else in life.
I hope all is well at your house! And that you’re getting extra help where you need it.