In a word, No. A lot of readers have recently asked about whether Trixie is finally talking. I’ve been hesitant to address the issue because there’s not much to write about and I’ve had my head in the sand. She just doesn’t do it, beyond the occasional Ma-ma and Da-da.
Words aside, Trixie is pretty vocal. She does a lot of moaning and mmm’ing when eating because she likes her food. Jenn and I don’t even hear it anymore, but apparently it’s pretty loud. We rediscover this every time we eat with other people. There’s always this moment where I look up and see that everyone has stopped eating and is staring at Trixie in slack-jawed disbelief. Some parents are embarrassed by this sort of thing — I look at it as taking the pressure off me. As long as Trixie is around, no one is going to walk away from dinner commenting on my dining habits.
Aside from mealtime mmm’ing, there’s plenty of humming that moves up and down in pitch, frequent sing-song la-la-la/ba-ba-ba, ecstatic screeching and the perennial favorite, ballistic screaming and yelling.
However, none of these verbalizations really translate into actual words. I’ve gotten to the point, I think, that I just don’t care anymore. We’ve worried enough about it for months, and the axiom that every child develops at her own pace is pretty comforting.
One reason not to worry is that there’s nothing wrong with her cognitive skills. She understands plenty, and has readily followed directions for months and months. We can ask her to go get her shoes if we’re going out, or to go dump some empty bottles in the recycling bin. Most recently, we can tell her to go get something to drink if she’s thirsty and she is able to go open the fridge and get out her milk or juice cup (depending on preference) which is now kept on the bottom shelf.
Many readers have suggested sign language as a way to bridge the language gap. We’ve tried. It took her forever to decide to even wave “hi” and “bye”. The only other thing she’s picked up is from a kids show where one of the characters celebrates Autumn by acting like a tree with out-stretched arms. This she can do. Trixie can sign “tree” no problem. “Trixie, tree!” Boom, arms go up. Also if she sees a tree, or we point out a tree, arms go up. This proves valuable in situations where Trixie needs to warn us that a tree is about to fall, or if she wants to climb a tree or if the squirrels are in the tree again.
I’m sure she’ll talk when she’s ready. As stated, I’m trying not to worry about it, but it doesn’t always work out. Today it caught up with me in a pet store while searching for kittens. Instead we got a giant parrot who kept loudly mocking us, “Hello!? How are you? Hello!” I wasn’t amused. We’re not going back until Trixie can bury that bird under an avalanche of profanity.