When Max was one and wasn’t “speaking,” I worried.  Okay, I may have panicked.

I chalk it up to inexperience.

Mama Syd assured me he was fine (he babbled on time and said a few things) and that he’d talk in his own sweet time and on his terms. She was right, of course.  At 15 months he said clear as a bell, “Belly button” without any prompting.  This was quickly followed by “Tootsie roll store.”  We were at the lake and he knew what he wanted.

Then there’s Gemma.  Admittedly we are more seasoned parents (read: lackadaisical) the fifth time around.  However, she’s throwing us for a loop.  The girls before her were precocious with their language And once they started, there was no looking back.  Gem, though, she’s taking her time.  That’s not to say she’s QUIET.  On the contrary.  She’s a screamer, a whiner, a super-shriek-maker.  But the words . . . well, they’re few.

At 16.5 months, her siblings do most of her communicating.  It works like this: She points and grunts.  They don’t notice.  She points and screams and they jump to do her bidding.  She really has no need for words. But we’re working on it.

She says “please” (EEEASE!) and “thank you” when prompted.  She yells “Tess!!” like it’s her job.  She has learned “yes” instead of repeating what she wants.  She hollers “Git!” to Monday just like everyone else and says “down” with great skill. She croons “baby” over and over to her dolls and stuffies to anyone who will listen.

My favorite though?  She says “gross!” like the best of valley girls.  If valley girls had an upper midwest accent with nice long ohs.  Cutest.  Thing. Ever.

So we wait.  For the words to come and the vocab to build. And we’ll keep coaxing and encouraging though why we want another talker is beyond me, really.