I'm a worrier. It's what I do best. I have been known to worry about things to the point of becoming ill. When I was 23, I worried about life so much that I was anorexic and on the verge of ulcers. Once my therapist asked me what I would do if he "waved a magic wand and made everything I worry about disappear." My answer was, "I'd worry about not having things to worry about." I think he almost gave up on me at that point.
I'm better now, thanks to some good anti-anxiety medications, but that doesn't mean I'm worry free.
Right now, I'm worried about Campbell's lack of words. Friends who have boys reassure me that he's completely normal, but I'm not convinced. Part of the problem is that he has two extremely talkative older sisters, and I keep comparing his progress to theirs at the same age.
Ella jabbered nonstop as a baby and started saying words right around her first birthday. By the time she was two, she was speaking in complete sentences. Lily was a silent baby, watching and absorbing everything that went on around her. Then, right about her second birthday, a switch flipped, and we haven't been able to get her to stop talking since.
Campbell jabbers all the time. He is obviously telling us very important things, complete with hand gestures - especially when he's telling on his sisters - but there aren't any actual words. He had a few words back at Christmas time - thank you, shoes, juice - but those have disappeared. He'll say mama and dada when requested, but he doesn't use those names when he wants us.
Now all he has is exclamations, that he mostly uses appropriately - uh-oh, yay, wow - and one noun - ball. He says more a lot, but it can mean more milk, more food, more mama.
My worrying level hasn't been helped by my current writing project. I'm working on a continuing education module for nurses who do physical assessment exams on children. All the reference materials I have include long sections on developmental milestones for various ages. All of the lists for 18-14 month olds say that Campbell should have a vocabulary of 10-20 words and that he should be saying mama and dada.
I'm not worried at all about Campbell's physical development - he can run, climb steps, jump with both feet off the ground, and do somersaults. Nor am I worried about his mental development. He's got excellent problem-solving skills, which actually makes me a bit nervous because he always seems to be working out how to get himself into trouble. He follows directions pretty well, and when I ask him to bring me things like one of his toys or his shoes, he does it. He can point to body parts when asked, so I know he knows what things are.
He just won't talk. And that worries me. So please, dear readers who have boys, reassure me that Campbell is ok, that some day he will talk and we'll be able to understand him.