This weekend, my boy recognized and pronounced the letter ‘S’. I couldn’t be happier because he can say all the letters in the alphabet except S. That sneaky little letter ‘s’ that escapes him all the time. That stumps him when he sees it. Snake becomes ‘nake’, stop is ‘top’ and taxi with ‘s’ pronunciation at the middle of the word? It totally morphs into a different word, “tikku”.
Don’t ask me why.
Benjamin’s speech puzzles me. Every day he tries so hard to babble away his requests, demands and daily conversations to us only to get blank stares. It is frustrating but let’s say I can now understand 80% of what he wants to say but I think the average person would only understand 10%.
To be honest, if he was my first child, I would be worried. Really worried that I would be in Google frenzy to find out if my child is normal or needs help. He is almost 2 and a half years old and can’t do a proper sentence yet. His sister Pristine sang songs when she was his age. But I would never compare him to Pristine, my first girl child because comparing their speech skills would make me panic. Pristine was very conversant (maybe being at the daycare since she was 1 helped a lot. Ben is not attending any preschool class).
But what Benjamin lacked in speech he makes up with his absolutely fantastic memory. And his love for geography! You probably would have seen some videos I posted on my Instagram account and Facebook. As of today, he can point several countries on the map when I ask him where it is. It started as a game and he was hooked. He would asked to be carried and start our map game, “where is Russia, the big one up?” It was just Russia, China, Japan, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada, the prominent ones on the map at first.
This was our first map playing session (video taken by Pristine, without Ben’s knowledge)
Our ‘play’ became very frequent that I had to bring the world map down to his height level, for easy access. Then, bam! He memorized so many other countries afterwards: Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, France, Spain, Portugal, Greenland, Iceland, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Italy, UK, Indonesia, Taiwan, Mongolia and just last night, Oman, Norway, Yemen and Sweden. Sometimes, it’s so fast that I would just point and name the country and ask him and he points it to me, correctly. Things happen so fast I could not even video it. And when I do have the time to video it, he loses interest. He stops when he seems he with a camera pointing his direction.
Here are two video snippets.
I am really amazed not just because this love for geography might be the only piece of genetic he got from me (the rest of his behavior/character is very similar to my husband!) but because this boy cannot read so I don’t know how he does it at all.
So, he doesn’t talk properly yet but comes with more confidence of being a mom the second time around is that comforting thought that children grow up and develop their skills differently. No two children are alike.
I am willing to wait. One day, he will talk. And He will blow my mind away with his first complete, proper sentence.