A Toddler Language Development Breakthrough


Among the list of shit the new doctor told us we are doing wrong suggested for language development for a 2-year-old at home, we wrote off reading to him. We’ve tried and tried and it has never interested him. Remember the library story time from hell? Yeah, that’s basically my life story with trying to read to Humnoy so we just gave up.

2 year old reading

The new doctor’s office provided us with a board book to take home as a new patient gift and, of course, to encourage language skills. I internally scoffed but thanked her for the new book (to toss into a Rubbermaid bin that houses the few dozen other books we have for him, most being from before he was born). Amidst my frenzy of motherhood denial, I actually waited a while to begrudgingly show him the book because he would either deny it or flip through two pages then throw it to go ride his bike. I didn’t want to be disappointed, in either scenario or at myself as a parent.

Pride aside, I told him he got a nice gift from the new doctor and he checked it out and actually looked through it for longer than I can say, “Let’s sit down and be still!” He pawed at it periodically throughout the day when it was in plain sight and then we reached a breakthrough. When I was taking Lanoy to her nightly potty session, Humnoy and Gym Hottie sat together with that book. As she was taking her sweet baby time going both poop then pee and sometimes even falling asleep, I am amazed to hear GH’s voice at completion. I look up to hear them discuss the book and I begin to cry.

I’m crying because Humnoy has never finished an entire book in his life. They’re tears of joy for a sweet boy, who just needed his own time to be ready to enjoy a reading. The tears are a release of relief and a real-time reminder that not all is lost and that a single medical observation doesn’t mean shit. At age two, Humnoy finally sat still and long enough to listen to a book and I’m so freaking happy. I’m so proud of the progress he’s made in the few days with the minor yet extremely rewarding tweaks we’ve included in our daily routine. It can only get better, I think!

When did your child(ren) start to enjoy reading books?

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16 thoughts on “A Toddler Language Development Breakthrough

  1. I think as parents the hard struggle is to look at them as “new” persons every so often and not hold/judge them based on who they were in the past. Just as we change and evolve, so do they. I know it irks the besheezus outta me when my grandmother still treats me like a rotten teenager sometimes, and she fails to acknowledge that I have changed and grown and worked through some of those old issues to become better. And when she fails to see this or acknowledge it, it truly sucks. As a parent, I think this is one of the biggest traps and it requires constant vigilance to respect the changing people we are parents to and to help them develop and evolve and not keep them pinned into a “category” or “label” even if it’s always fit before.

  2. I have always used books as a mans of escape. I love being transported to another time, to be another person, to live any life but my own. I worked at a book store while pregnant and Harper’s book collection started to take place before she had a name. She is named for the author of my favorite book after all πŸ™‚ Although I started reading to her from birth, she really didn’t actively bring me books or show interest in being really read to until about 18 months. Now we must read a dew of the same books over and over daily. I love this story mama! I cried when you cried πŸ™‚ its beautiful! If Harper showed no interest in books I would have done the same.

  3. I wanted to comment on your other post, but I’ll say it here. I had my oldest in speech therapy when she was 3. People were telling me she didn’t talk enough, had poor fine motor skills, etc. It was for about 6 months I think. I was supposed to place her back into that system when we moved 4 yrs ago. I decided that I could do at home what they were doing with her in the school. Wouldn’t you know she blossomed perfectly fine and on her own when she was ready. When I accepted her for who she is and let her be her.

    I get annoyed when Dr’s tell someone their two yr old doesn’t know enough words. Seriously? They are always taking small percentages of problems and applying them to the population at large. I did the same thing you did with writing down all the words she knew. I’ve felt those feelings.

    You are doing a fine job following your instincts! My kids have always enjoyed looking at books from an early age, not long after being a year old. I’m glad you’re feeling better about the situation.

    • It’s amazing how many children are grouped in within a larger range when each child is supposed to be different. It’s sad really and definitely the problem with the education institution, unfortunately. So far, we’re doing our own thing and it’s always improved!

  4. My middle (2yo) enjoys reading through books by himself but rarely sits long enough to read the whole things with either myself or husband. And he doesn’t say “mom” yet. But this week, we too have had a similar breakthrough as well! I’m including it in my QT’s if I ever have the time to in ish writing. Kind of new to your blog- I enjoy your writing style!

  5. GH here. This just came to mind. Why be in such a hurry to talk? For the majority of people (myself included) it would be better to learn how to listen first rather than to talk first. Now days, people like to blurt out whatever comes to mind (again myself included) instead of listening, then thinking, then talking. Thoughts?.

  6. I, too, have my stockpile of books ready to read to our forthcoming wee one. I never thought it were possible that he/she just might not give a shit! Thanks for this post and glad to hear you can bust open that Tupperwear of awesome and weird kids books! Have you heard of “Going on a Bear Hunt?” So odd… They traipse around looking for a bear, actually find one and then get their asses chased all the way home. I gotta do a book review…

  7. That’s so great. Every kid is just SO different. I think that people (doctors, educators) can put too much importance on what is supposedly the “average”. I think it’s good to remember that kids will do things on their own time and don’t need to be pushed along.

  8. Because you weren’t worried about it before the doctor brought it up, probably means it’s not a problem. Mommy instinct is always best, duhh (except for when we’re wrong) haha. They’re toddlers, give them a break. They are in learning overload every single day. Max’s speech seems super advanced and I can’t ever get him to stop talking, its annoying (and super cute). However, he refuses to learn other things (like colors) until literally a week ago or so. He walked “late”, got teeth “late”, and I think his hand eye coordination was a little late to develop because he couldn’t stack 3 blocks by 1 years old or some BS like that. When your child is on track its fun to follow along and to check milestones off the list, but if they are a little behind, not so much. Humnoy sounds like a normal 2 year old to me that doesn’t talk that much YET. Just like my friend’s sonand probably tons of other kids. GH, I love your point! Listening is a much more desired and useful skill anyways. Ps. Max has always loved books and I just think that’s his personality. …but a tip to maybe get Humnoy more interested in books is to display the books facing forward and make sure he sees that books are a fun option everyday (if you don’t do so already). Ps. Sosweet that he got through the book with dada and then you crying. Love.

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