Owen woke up this morning and said that his tummy hurt. Despite this, he still had the energy to put his brother in a headlock and demand cold spaghetti for breakfast. I wasn't terribly concerned.
Sure enough, following a truly impressive moment at the public (naturally) restroom, he was fine. His tummy just needed some time to work itself out.
Naturally, I found a metaphor in all this. Appalling, but they say, "write what you know!"
It's easy for me to get caught up in worry. Joel isn't talking the way I would like him to. He has a few words, but prefers to grunt, point, whine, and, in a most annoying development, lose his shit to convey his desires.
For example, instead of saying, "Oh, Mother dear, I would greatly appreciate a glass of apple juice," my second-born prefers to open the refrigerator door and remove items, all the while screaming, "DIS! DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS!"
We are supposed to read his mind to determine which "this" he wants. It could be anything from a slice of cheese to a strawberry to a shot of Jack straight-up.
Wait, maybe that's me.
At night and in the morning, I let the worry clutter up my insides, creating my own paranoid tummyache. I wonder if he is speech delayed, if he has autism or a sensory processing disorder. I wonder if those first eight months without ear tubes kept him from hearing us. Maybe we should have pushed the baby sign.
I know enough occupational and/or speech therapists to know that we're supposed to let him get upset, and force him to use his words. We're not supposed to let him off the hook. We're supposed to label everything and read to him.
Well, at least we read to him. There is that. I'll admit it: my sense of peace compels me to avoid tantrums and frustration-induced meltdowns. I've got two needy kids, and sometimes it is so much easier to give the kid DIIIIIIIIIS instead of making him say it for himself.
I'm walking around with all this in my stomach, and I know that he isn't even two yet, and he's a boy and that Owen wasn't really talking at this point, either. It'll come. I need to relax. All I really need to do is sit down somewhere, and let all the feelings come out.
Internet, consider yourself my psychic public restroom. You're welcome.
And if the language doesn't come, there are good people and good programs that will guide us along. I'm sure the speech language pathologists of the world LOVE being compared to prune juice. Elle, Tracie, again, you're welcome.
Perhaps the first step in all this would involve two words: Just relax.
Or, better yet: Unclench.