Finally Timmy-isms (stories of a late talker)

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Upon coming home from work late at night, I scoop up 3-year-old Timmy and bring him to the bedroom for a round of play.

Me: “Hello Timmy!!!!! I missed you so much! Where’s your Mommy?!”
Timmy: “Offs.” (Office)
Me: “What?! I’m here na! Where’s your Mommy?”
Timmy: “Hom.” (Home)

(Guess I’ve been coming home too late, eh?)

***

Timmy and I are playing with a flashlight. I get an idea to play dentist.

Me: “Timmy! Shine the light in my mouth so you can see my teeth!” (opens mouth WIDE open)
Timmy: (shines the flashlight in my mouth, grins, then points at me) “HIPPO!”

*****

After dinner. My husband is asking me to prepare dessert. Timmy is seated on the couch between us, quietly playing with his toys.

Husband: “Wifey, I want dessert.”
Me: “Okay, what do you like — fruits or ice cream?”
H: (silence)
Me: “Fruits or ice cream?”
H: (silence)
Me: “Dad, fruits or ice cream?”
H: (silence)
Me: “FRUITS OR ICE CREAM?!”
Timmy: “IM!!!” (Ice cream!!!)

*****

Finally, Timmy-isms.

My son’s a late talker. He didn’t start talking until this year, shortly before he turned 3 1/2 years old. His late speech development was a source of concern for me last year, especially since he’s to start going to school this coming June. Last year it was all babbles and gestures. The only full word he could say and mean was “Go.”

“He’ll catch up, don’t worry,” my husband assured me. He was a late talker himself, having started talking at the age of 4. “It’s genetic.” This was a big reason why I was not super worried about my son’s speech lag.

The funny thing is, I wasn’t all that worried either until folks began saying “Maybe he should see someone…”

Gut feel dictated that there’s nothing wrong with our son, but we went with the tests anyway. What if we were wrong? So we did see people.

We saw a pedia-neurologist. He was really awesome, but we felt the suggested next steps weren’t for us. One of the suggestions was to go for an MRI. While I respect that recommendation, I felt it was unnecessary considering there were other options we could try first. Like a child speech therapist.

And so we saw a child speech therapist. She was really awesome, and we learned a lot from her. Timmy, however, was horrified. He threw tantrums, cried buckets and was highly uncomfortable with the authoritative approach. This worried me a lot, since I wasn’t in the room with him during sessions. We lasted about 3 sessions. It came to the point that Timmy wouldn’t ride the car anymore, afraid that we would take him to the therapist. When we’d ride the car to go to the mall or to buy food, he’d resist being put in the car and cry continuously all the way till the main road, then only calm down when he sees that we’re nowhere near the vicinity of the clinic. Other Mommies in the clinic advised that a lot of the kiddie patients usually take a long time to warm up to the sessions, that crying is normal. I respect that, but I felt it wasn’t a good environment for my son at that specific time in his life. So I took him out of therapy and decided to just carry on with what we were doing at home.

Like talking and playing and reading and watching TV and learning and running and playing with gadgets and all. We consciously made efforts to lessen his TV viewing times. Other than that we just carried on. Gut feel, remember?

This year, he began talking. Short words, small words. Little words strung together to form a sentence. Words expressed in toddler talk, but said with much intention.

Kowawa. Koala.
Pis oh-peh. Please open.
Goreella.. Gorilla.
Muk. Milk.
Towowee. Toy Story.
Wang. Two. Tsee. One, two, three.
Mas. Mouse.
Yewowas. Yellow Rice. (Rice with Star Margarine)
Wawa. Water.
Jyus. Juice.
Banna. Banana.
Ahpow. Apple.
Duhdee. Daddy.
Mamamee. Mommy.
Potty. Potty.
Caht. Cat.
Ngo. No.
Yesh. Yes.
Hewow! Hello!
Ciao! Ciao!
Zoo. Zoo.
Wobuh. Robot.
Baeh! Bye!
Tee-mee. Timmy.

Timmy.
Timmy with “Jeh” and “Woowoowoo” (Jessie and Woody)

The list goes on. His vocabulary continues to increase, quite rapidly so. He’s mimicking us more, which is a source of amusement for all at home.

Me: “Oh sorry.”
Timmy: “Oh soyoyee.”

Me: “Oops!”
Timmy: “Upps!”

Me: “Ouch!!!”
Timmy: “Ach!!!”

So yes, finally, Timmy-isms. We have a notebook in our household foyer which everyone is encouraged to update as soon as they hear Timmy say a new word or when a funny thing occurs (like my Hippo anecdote).

I’m happy that he’s learning to talk in an environment that’s very nurturing and supportive. Sometimes all you really need is patience, trust in your instincts and the courage to let the little one shine. He starts school this June. For sure he’ll learn a lot more words and speak up more with kids all around. I’m psyched for him.

Me: “Timmy, do you love Mommy?”
Timmy: (nods) “Yesh.”
Me: “I love you.”
Timmy: “Aahboo.”

20 Comments on Finally Timmy-isms (stories of a late talker)

  1. Ma. Teresa Grech Quiatchon Racal
    April 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm (9 years ago)

    Nice post… while reading your post I can’t help to have flashbacks with my youngest. Although it took her quite a while too to form a sentence that we could fully understand. My mom told me baka daw tongue tied, since I have a brother who is. But then again I said no, matagal lang talaga siguro siya magsasalita… And as they say PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE… and I tell you super duper ingay niya when she learned to talk. hahaha!!! Expect more from Timmy…. :)
    Ma. Teresa Grech Quiatchon Racal´s last blog post ..Rantings of a Mom….

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm (9 years ago)

      Thanks Grech! I also had that condition. Not sure if it was called being tongue-tied, basta my tongue was too short and they had to clip daw a bit of something under my tongue. Que horror!!! Good thing my Mom didn’t pursue that. I ended up speaking well anyway! So I applied the same patience with my son, especially knowing that my husband also had a speech delay up till he was 4. Albert Einsten also didn’t start speaking till he was 4! Thanks for the words of encouragement, dear friend.

      Reply
  2. rhoda
    April 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm (9 years ago)

    hi toni, im always reading your blog. i love your blog! as i can relate with you and Timmy! :) i had the same experience with my son, Ethan, he’s 3 /12 at the moment and he just started babbling 2 syllabled words, and recently sentences with only main words (without conjunction) e.g. “me ethan eat pam (spam)” we’re currently in dubai and everytime we go home on vacation in the phils (once or twice a year) he adapts a lot of words but easily forgot after few months back here. we also sought a developmental pedia in the phils and found out that there was nothing wrong with him, he’s quite excellent in his assessment aside from speech delay and suggested to put him on speech therapy but we haven’t started yet as his pedia here keeps telling us not to put him in therapy, and he’ll start talking when he goes to school on Sept. being surrounded with other kids. i also learned to be patient just like you. thanks for sharing! all the best for you and the little one!

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm (9 years ago)

      Thank you Rhoda! It’s so good to hear from you. Cheers to our toddlers whose worlds are growing as they learn to express themselves slowly but surely. We were also asked to see a development pedia. Schedules were always a problem; they’re very much in demand! We were on the wait list for one pedia for about 6 months until finally Timmy started talking slowly. Perhaps we’ll have him evaluated after he starts school, but we’ll see! Hopefully there won’t be any need for that as his social skills will be nurtured in kindergarten. All the best to you and Ethan too!

      Reply
  3. Dinna
    April 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm (9 years ago)

    As always, I find your blog posts very, very inspiring.

    You know what? I nearly had tears in my eyes reading this. Kasi my almost 3-year-old is very much like your Timmy! Rafael could count, say his ABCs, knows his shapes and colors, but he has his own vocabulary and pronunciation. He would say “chiw-chew” for circle. We’d say other words and he’d be mad. :)

    I didn’t find it any alarming (his delayed speech) kasi his cousin (my nephew) started talking only when he turned 4. But then, some well-meaning people, especially my in-laws, are now insisting that we see a speech therapist and/or a developmental pedia for him, so we could know daw if something is wrong. My husband and I oppose to this, because we have, like you do, this gut feel that Rafael will speak eventually. He’s only 2 years old, for goodness’ sake. Pasasaan ba at magsasalita din naman sya. Besides, my Psychology-graduate husband would definitely know if something’s amiss.

    As my hubby and I had discussed, I think that society has played a huge role in imbibing in our minds that our children should always be advanced (the “gifted child” commercial always comes to my mind). There’s always that competition for our kids to always be the first, to always be able to do many firsts at a young age. I strongly believe that each child grows and develops at his own pace.

    I’m enrolling my boy in play school this summer, to hone his socialization and speech skills. Keeping my fingers crossed on this. :)

    Thank you, thank you, Toni, for this post. I feel so relieved that I’m just bursting with excitement to share this in my FB. :) This is a very sensitive topic for me and I am so glad that you have put the very words that I was meaning to but couldn’t bring myself to do in my own blog. Finally, something that could assure me to trust my instincts. :)

    All the best to you and little Timmy!
    Dinna´s last blog post ..Loving You

    Reply
  4. Toni
    April 8, 2013 at 7:21 pm (9 years ago)

    Hi Dinna! Thank you so much for the kind words and for sharing your story. Rafael and Timmy should play together. What a sight that would be, right? :) Timmy knows his ABCs as well but says it in his own way, same with colors. We really do need to be our kids’ biggest supporters and know when to be aggressive with treatment and when to just chill.

    I’m glad to have helped you by sharing our story, Timmy’s story. We’re in the same boat. Knowing that you are also on the same journey I am is highly assuring for me too.

    All the best to you and Rafael too! *hugs*

    Reply
  5. Rina Zamora
    April 9, 2013 at 12:01 am (9 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing this, Toni!!! We’ve been having the same concern with our little Rainbow. Like you, i am also not as alarmed except when other people notice . I have this feeling she will start really talking in her own sweet time. After all she is only a year and a half. At least she now knows “Up” and “Bye”. So your story really gave me more assurance that everything will be alright. Thanks so much!:-)

    Reply
  6. Macy
    April 9, 2013 at 12:11 am (9 years ago)

    Hi Toni!

    Thanks or sharing and it is a blessing din reading stories from other moms.
    Elijah is 2 and 6 months. He can say a few words pero not full on talking pa. At 18 months his pedia told us to have him evaluated for speech delay. Dito kasi book based talaga. If wala pa 20 words pag 18 months the pedia would want the kid evaluated. I didn’t do that kasi feeling ko baby pa naman and we have a playgroup with kids his age and they all don’t talk yet except for the girls.
    Anyways, when he was 2 years old i decided to get him evaluated. He gets frustrated din kasi if i don’t understand what he is saying. To make the long sory short he is now attending speech therapy once a week. He likes it and so far meron naman improvements. My husband is not so worried about his speech talaga kasi late din sya nagsalita and my sil said that he would even stuter. My nephew din started talking at almost 3.
    Hirap lang kasi other people tend o compare kids. I can’t wait for Elijah to start saying more words. My husband says i should not look forward to it kasi for aure endless ang questions. Lol.

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 23, 2013 at 7:29 am (9 years ago)

      Macy: That’s great therapy is working for Elijah! Timmy just absolutely freaked out in therapy. Good luck with the progress! For sure our kids will be talking up a storm soon.

      Reply
  7. Rina Zamora
    April 9, 2013 at 12:12 am (9 years ago)

    I agree with Dinna! Whats up with the stereotyping??? It just makes us moms feel bad and make us feel like we’re failing. Ang hirap kaya! I have also wanted to post about Rain’s develompent in my blog but cant get myself to do it. I refuse to believe she has developmental issues. Thank God for my sister in law who always keeps telling me that babies develop at different paces, like what Dinna said, and that i shouldn’t be worried. Its also a sensitive topic for me. So thank you so much again for this!:)
    Rina Zamora´s last blog post ..Easter Sunday Food!

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 23, 2013 at 7:28 am (9 years ago)

      Rina: Thank you! Yeah, to heck with stereotyping. Babies reach their own milestones at their own time. I admit I would compare my own baby to how others developed. While it did bring out some of my insecurities, it also made me firmer in believing that my son had his own path to take, his own life to grow into. It was a sensitive topic for me then, and I’m glad to have shared this story with you guys now and learn from you too.

      Reply
  8. BabyPink
    April 9, 2013 at 8:51 am (9 years ago)

    I guess there are just kids who are late talkers. My nephew could talk straight when he was only a year old. In fact, his mom sent him to Kumon when he was 1 year and 9 months old. But, with his younger sister, she started talking a little late. She was already two years old, but she wasn’t talking yet. She was just silent. But, she started talking before she turned three and I tell you, once she started talking there was no way of stopping her! Only when she’s asleep! Hehe:)
    BabyPink´s last blog post ..03/23/13 is D Day!

    Reply
  9. Lissa
    April 10, 2013 at 4:40 am (9 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing, Toni! We went through the same thing with Connor. He was a late talker as well. We got him evaluated by a nurse practitioner who specializes in child development and she noted that he had some speech delay. Long story short, I was able to enroll him in our school district for preschoolers that help kids with special needs. It’s been about 3 years and I have to say that he talks a lot! Kids just have different timelines with certain milestones and I’m sure you’ve heard a lot that boys tend to develop a little slower than girls do. I should follow your steps in lessening their TV time cause I have my daughter to worry about.

    In no time, Timmy will be a chatterbox and you’ll be the one asking for a time out. :)

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 23, 2013 at 7:26 am (9 years ago)

      Lissa: Hahaha! Re: me asking for a time out, I look forward to that day!

      Reply
  10. Kathy Ngo
    April 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m glad Timmy is starting to talk. B started babbling at 9 months so it wasn’t a concern. I’d say you were right to stick to your gut feel. It’s always important to trust Mommy instincts.

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 23, 2013 at 7:25 am (9 years ago)

      Kay: Thanks! Mommy instincts are unparalleled!

      Reply
  11. Nadia
    May 22, 2013 at 6:33 pm (9 years ago)

    Hi Toni! My son Rio just turned 2 this month and the common question we encounter is “Ano nang nasasabi niya?” My answers are still the same when he was 18 months – tata, nana, lala. This time nga lang he says it as if he’s singing, may tono! We haven’t seen our pedia lately but I remember her telling me when I asked her before if Rio has speech delay , “It’s ok, wala pa naman siyang 2.” Now that he’s 2, may kaunting pressure na – do we need to see a dev pedia to assess if he has speech delay or any other condition. After reading your post, I am encouraged to spend more talk time with my son and be his giant TV for now. I am also inspired to make Rio’s speech milestones a family endeavor or project. I hope to blog about this soon. Thanks Toni, you are an inspiration.
    Nadia´s last blog post ..Rio’s Pocoyo Party at Home

    Reply
    • Toni
      June 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm (9 years ago)

      Nadia: Thanks for sharing your story too! Yes, just keep on sharing stories with your son and he’ll talk up a storm. Timmy is now 3 years and 9 months old and he’s speaking in sentences. Notyet as smooth and flowing but nonetheless, he’s putting subject and verb together. :) The kids are the inspiration!

      Reply

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