Normal or not?

I feel frustrated.

Frustrated and helpless.

Here we stand, 19 days before Caitlin’s second birthday, with a much smaller vocabulary than she should have by her age.

Fifty to seventy words?


I can think of four that she uses every day. Momma, dada, baba (bottle) (for bedtime) and no.

Yes, we get the occasional, “I sorry”, “lobe ew”, “doggy”, “dude”, “please” and “ball”. But those words? Not an everyday occurrence. Mostly babbles. Lots of silence or just saying the same word (momma) over and over again. If I had to guess, I would say she probably says about 30 words.

We have no repeating body part names or singing easy song lyrics ringing in our home. We get humming and giggling, but little talking. It hurts my heart that I rarely hear her voice.

And then there is the eating issue.

Or the lack of eating issue, I should say.

Because she just plain doesn’t.

It’s a struggle.

Not an everyday, “every toddler” kind of issue.

She puts food in her mouth, chews it up, keeps it there sometimes for several minutes and then spits it out. It’s disgusting. It’s frustrating. It’s worrisome.

She loves baby food; purees, melt-able puffs and drops, anything that doesn’t require lots of chewing. If she needs to chew it, she will, but then spit it out.

I worry because she isn’t getting nutrients. I worry because I don’t want her to stop thriving. I worry because I feel there is something more than meets the eye.

I’m scared she is stunted. I’m scared there is nothing I can do. I’m scared I broke her.

I find myself thinking that it’s my fault. The days when life got too much to handle, the days when I was unhappy and angry all the time; did those do something to her? Permanent damage that no amount of love I lavish on her now will change?

I sit and research, offering possibilities that continually get shot down because her behavior is deemed “normal” by some.

I’m at a loss. I’m tired of feeling frustrated. I’m tired of feeling scared. I’m tired of hurting because my baby may have issues that I can’t control. I’m tired of knowing she is perfect, but knowing that with each passing day, there are people out there who are beginning to see her as less than that.

I feel overwhelmed. Under-supported. Often mocked. Always scared.


7 Responses

  1. You know, those issues are two sides of the same coin – we have a milder version of both problems and the pedi says they are connected and speech therapy can help.

    Sorry if I’m giving assvice – this just strikes home for me as well.

    • No, advice is very much welcomed! I had no idea that they were connected! I often think about mentioning speech therapy, but I always chicken out.

  2. I’m a speech therapist.

    I just wanted to stop in and tell you that you DID NOT break her. It’s completely normal for you to have those feelings though. I think as parents we always have something to feel guilty about or worry about.

    It sounds like Caitlin needs a referral to see a speech therapist.

    Don’t mean to nose in but I saw your tweet and wanted to pop in and see what’s going on.

    • No, stick away! I just am completely at a loss. DH keeps going back and forth on her needing speech therapy, I think she definitely may.

      I just feel like my PPD may caused this and it hurts so bad.

  3. You didn’t do anything to break her. The county has to evaluate her if you bring up your concerns to them, they will do a full evaluation and then give her therapy through the school system. I also suggest calling Children’s Hospital (the one off of Spotsylvania Ave.) and making an appointment for an evaluation with them, call now because it took me 6 months to get Annabelle in. You can have her evaluated for speech therapy and occupational therapy, it may be nothing, it may be something but either way you win with an evaluation. If it is nothing then you can put your worries to rest, if it is something you can get help for her early, the earlier the better. Look at Annabelle, remember how she was 5 years ago, she has come so far, she wouldn’t have had the same outcome had she not gotten therapy so early. I will help you if you need me.

    • Please do. I have no idea where to really begin, with the county or with her doctor. I want to have her evaluated either way, but I’m so confused. Someone else mentioned that the eating and the speech could be hand in hand. The other night (on Twitter) someone suggested it could be SPD, which she fits the bill on some, but not all of it. Chris goes through these bouts of worry and then saying she’s fine so I’m just confused and kind of going at it alone.

  4. One of the diagnosis in the alphabet soup of diagnosis for Annabelle is SPD. Children’s Hospital will do an evaluation for that and the “solution” is OT, I do have to warn you OT has a LONG waiting list. Annabelle is not “cured” of SPD but things have gotten so much better, she eats a variety of foods now and doesn’t complain about her clothes although she still wears her socks inside out and will only wear Crocs. ;)

    Let me put a list together for you and I will email you it. But ALWAYS go with your mommy gut…I am so glad I did.

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