Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Worst. Mother. Ever.

It started a couple of months ago. It was subtle and not very obvious.
"Mmmmommy, may I please go play with Maddie?" Baby Girl would ask.

Then, it got a little more pronounced, but only when she was truly excited.
"I I I I I I I I I I I love that song!" Baby Girl would say when I would play a Wilco song in the car.

Over the past couple of weeks it has become more pronounced and this week, every sentence is starting with a very long stutter, especially questions.

"Can can can can can can can can can can may may may may may may may I please have some raisins?"

I feel horrible about this. Everyone is telling me that it is perfectly normal for kids to stutter and they outgrow it. My pediatrician told me not to worry about it. But if it's perfectly normal, why is it getting worse? And the worse it gets, the more annoyed I get. And then I feel like an absolute shithead for being annoyed that it took her almost an entire minute to tell me urgently that Peaches threw up. I already knew she threw up because she threw up on ME. But I waited there, puke dripping off of me and the baby because I thought Baby Girl had something really important to say. She did--it just took her awhile to tell me.

I am trying really hard to not guess what she is going to say and finish her speaking for her. I did that in the beginning and it was upsetting her. Sometimes I keep thinking that I am causing her to stutter because I am constantly correcting her speaking or making her say things over again using manners.

I nearly cried today when she said, " I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I--"

"WHAT, BABY GIRL?!?!?" I yelled. "WHAT are you trying to say????????"

"I I I I I I I I really love you Mommy."


Mary P. said...

Correcting her is not causing the stuttering (unless your corrections are harsh and constant, which I doubt).

I had a severe stutterer in my group once, and I've had several mild ones. It's pretty common at this age.

Here, we have a free screening clinic that parents can take their kids to for an assessment. Anything like that where you live? Your pediatrician is the right place to start, but speech pathologist/speech therapists are the experts in this. Probably, they will just tell you "she'll outgrow it, don't worry".

I actually went to some of my little severe stutterer's sessions, which started when he was three. (This particular school of therapy says "start early and you solve it quicker".) They trained parents and caregivers in ways to help and direct. It was reassuring all round!

But hear me again: "THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!"

MetroDad said...

Awwww. Baby Girl is so sweet, Misfit! As for the slight stutter, it seems pretty mild. Some of our close friends had kids who stuttered and then outgrew it. I guess it's more common than one would think. Who knew? You learn something new every day.

Kara said...

Stuttering, though annoying is pretty normal at this age. She may have learned/ heard it somewhere and now it's becoming a habit. Asking her to stop and take a breath can help.

Kristen said...

Oh, that sweet Baby Girl. I can imagine how frustrating it is for you, though. My nephew stuttered at this age, and it was also annoying for my sister-in-law. I truly do think it is basically "age appropriate" - as much as I know it sucks to hear that, since it really means "there's nothing you can do but wait for it to go away"... GAH!

I like Kara's suggestion of telling her to stop and take a breath and then talk. I think my sil ended up doing that with my nephew and it worked pretty well. BTW, he is turning 7 next month and his speech is perfectly fine now.

Misfit Hausfrau said...

Thanks for the tip on having her take a breath, Kara. I will try it.

Susan said...

Mary P is right--this is NOT your fault. Say it with me: I AM A GOOD MOTHER. I AM A GOOD MOTHER.

That said, I like to think of my pediatrician as my own personal Information Hotline. In the past nearly-six years, I have called our practice about all kinds of crazy things. Sometimes, they allay my fears in that phone call; sometimes they suggest I come in; and several times, they have referred me on to a specialist. But every time I felt better, because I felt like I was doing something helpful and positive.

But you knew all that, didn't you? Because you're a good mother.

Lumpyheadsmom said...

That last line broke my heart!

The June Cleaver Diaries said...

You're not the worst mother. You're not even so-so. You do a damn good job with those girls. We all get hugely frustrated. Just consider this a "regrouping moment."

Did I mention that I told Alex that he would get burned with my coffee if he got into my lap? Not that I was going to spill it on purpose or anything, please. He kept trying to get up, and I just wanted to drink my coffee on the couch in peace. I'll call you later and relay to you the ACTUAL conversation, and then you can decide who's worse. I just can't write about the incident here, because I'm sure someone will call Family Services on me.

You're a great mom. I've told you before that I try every day to be the kind of mom you are. So there. Now shut up, because I have some scalding coffee here that has your name written all over it.

Sue said...

It happens. You have a lot of company in the 'thinking you are a bad mother when you are actually doing a really good job at it' theme. Also, in the little one stuttering stage. Stuttering can be a complex problem or very simple. Such as their brains/talk functions are not quite in sinc yet (thinking quicker than talking I mean)See it as a growth spurt in vocabulary. My son had a pronounced stutter that went away completely when we moved from one town to the next. I'm not saying hers has any connection to your situation, I'm just saying his went away. No idea why. Leaving town hleped. Of course that is a pretty drastic solution.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes kids stutter because their little brains are working faster than their little mouths will let it out. I think she'll outgrow it, just don't make her feel subconscious about it. When you tell her to stop and breathe, you should too and count to 10. Maybe she's getting upset about the up coming move, and daddy's new job. Kids feel that kind of stuff. Good luck!

kimmyk said...

Aw. I think all kids go through this. My son did...and he outgrew it. It's hard to not finish their sentences I know.

Bless her heart!

I hope Peaches gets to feelin better.