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My mom better get going on teaching this kid to talk because she ain't gonna like this.

First the little friends crawled. And then Nathan crawled. The little friends walked. Then Nathan walked. All the little friends got teeth. Then Nathan got teeth. It's so hard not to compare your child to others, worry about meeting developmental milestones, and add unnecessary stress to your life. When will he? Why hasn't he? It used to drive me mad. I confess sometimes it still does, even though it doesn't help anything. Just because I was apparently an exceptional child who walked at 10.5 months and spoke in complete sentences at 18 months, doesn't mean Nathan has to. Every kid is different and he'll get there when he's ready. And trust me, when he does, I'll wish he hadn't. Because then he walked and I wished he'd stay still. And he teethed and it was (and still is) awful. And I know once he can speak actual words, I will yearn for a time when he couldn't tell me where I can go shove it.

Don't get me wrong, Nathan is very smart. (Says his mom.) He knows how to throw things in the trash when he no longer wants them. He can find his belly button and goes around lifting up everyone else's shirts looking for theirs, beware. The other day I told my husband there was something on Nathan's sleeve, and Nathan looked right down at his arm. How did he know what a sleeve was?! He knows exactly where all of his toys are in the crazy messy toy bins and can locate the one he wants instantly. And he emphatically shakes his head no when he does not want something. He definitely has a lot of thoughts and opinions and is starting to learn how to express them vocally. And I'm starting to understand his language. Well, somewhat.

I've picked up on some of what he's trying to communicate because he would actually make a loud, yet very excellent mime. Standing in front of the fridge pointing at the door screaming means "give me my milk!" Pointing at the television means "turn on my stories!" When I ask if he wants a food item and he says "MMMMMM," that means hell yes I do. The problem is most of the rest of his communication besides the standards "dada," "cat," "this," is lengthy streams of nonsense thoughts that spill out of him. He's VERY vocal and clearly having an extremely intense, complex conversation about important topics, I just have no idea what he's saying.

It's like being in the movie Nell. I mean, what in the heck was Jodie Foster talking about anyway?

Nathan had some friends over on New Year's day. Granted they are both little girls and girls advance at a much quicker pace, but I was floored that they were clearly both saying "please" and "thank you." Stacie's daughter Elah is even using the sign language for "more." My mom's been trying to teach Nathan that for months and the most we can get is a clap, which means he might be excited about having more fruit but not necessarily that he wants some. I told them both that they were the most polite little girls I'd ever met and they were welcome back any time. After they left I commented to my husband that we better get started teaching Nathan how to say please and thank you. His response was not to worry, he thinks Nathan is very advanced because although he's not saying those words per se, he has entire conversations and complex thoughts. Then he told me when he was upstairs Nathan was eating a baby wipe, farted loudly and laughed. So I guess he's regressing...

UPDATE: Nathan seems to have finally learned the sign language for more... AND the other day he said "thank you!" Even though it sounds like a completely different child's voice and he's never said it again since then! Head on over to the Mommy's a Mess Instagram (@mommysamess_JM) or FB page (@mommysamess) to check out the video!

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