Deciphering Demands

Let me tell you what I’m living through at the minute – a toddler who wants something very specific based on ideas gained from his new learning but who can’t tell me what this very specific request is. Or when he can, it’s absolutely fucking bonkers. Like wanting to eat four potato waffles and a whole can of beans on a plate that is 5cm in diameter but nothing can touch. It’s a mathematical impossibility but try telling that to a small mood bomb with a fork in his hand. Or wanting to have all the oranges in the fruit bowl unpeeled but not for eating, just for looking at. Apparently I’m unreasonable for refusing that particular request. Or my favourite wanting a Barney Bear cake but dropping the feet in a carpark and then crying because the feet were gone… then crying because the new one presented to him in desperation to make the noise stop had feet. Fuck my life.

In other news, we’ve seen a speech therapist this week because River is performing slightly below what is percieved to be normal for his age. We aren’t worried, he can communicate in his own way and I know he will get there shortly but I went anyway. He played the usual part of “mute” for a few minutes and then soon wouldn’t shut up and the speech therapist couldn’t get a word in edgeways to ask me what he could and couldn’t do. I found some gaps in what I’ve been doing so I can take that away but for the most part he just needs time. And I can usually decipher what he was trying to say – even if it is bonkers. My favourite part was when he waited until the assessment was finished to come out with “Nano is a blue cat!” and the speech therapist laughed and threw her clipboard down. He’s fine. And for someone who doesn’t talk, he makes a heck of a lot of noise.

I’ve been told to steer away from speaking for him and between the lines (or not between the lines from some) been told to stop babying him. I do baby him – he’s my baby. My only child and I’m new at this, it’s in my every instinct to love and protect my child that I now have to learn to take a step back and let him have some independence to discover what he needs for himself. It’s hard to step back when your small best friend grabs you by the paw and asks you to join in with his every thought and whim. He is so inclusive, he doesn’t like anyone being left out that I can’t imagine him doing anything by himself. I know he will, but at two years old I just can’t envisage him making his most important life choices and philosophically contemplating the need for four potato waffles when one can only consume one at any one time.

For now, I’m going to continue loving my baby whilst cherrypicking the bonkers moments as my “letting him have his independence” whilst I hide upstairs and let Frankie deal with the fallout. At least he’s quiet when he sleeps.

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