Little Brother has developed a bit of a stutter. At first I was completely freaked out by it. Worried and sad and upset — concerned that he had been dealt some terribly unfair hand. That my baby, who was so quick to speak as a toddler, would now need some help getting over a few tough hurdles down the road.
A few days into the stuttering, I did some reading and started to speak to other parents about the problem. And, thankfully, I learned that a stutter is very common in kids between 2.5 and 3.5 years old. And, that the stutter can last anywhere from a week to 6 months or more. That it can even come and go for months at a time. That it’s most often seen in children who have developed their little vocabularies so quickly that their speedy little brain is simply working much too fast for their tangled tongues. And that, most likely, it really means nothing at all.
The counsel is to basically ignore it. Don’t tease him about it (of course) or point out the problem. Help with the word if he gets frustrated. Settle him down. Let him work through it.
We’re fine. He’s fine. I know it’s all good.
The thing about it, though, is that Little Brother, clearly frustrated with the situation, has figured out a couple ways to compensate for this little blip in his ability to communicate his needs. First, he went with VOLUME. Holy cow.
“I – I – I – I wa-wa-” (heavy sigh). “GET ME MILK, MOMMY!”
So, I was doing a lot of gentle shhhhush-ing for a week or so.
But, now he’s gone with a new tactic. It appears that Little Brother now believes he can get the words out a little more easily by whispering them. But, he doesn’t really get the whole spacial relations things yet so I’ll just happen to look up and notice he’s all the way across the room asking me for something.
Me: Oh! Did you need something, J?
Me: I’m sorry. What?
Good lord. It’s like I’m stay-at-home-Mom to Milton Waddams of Office Space.
Just trying to have a little sense of humor about it.