While I have learned many-a-lesson about birth order during my time thus far as a parent, one of the more recent realizations and acceptances is that the third kid is likely going to start speaking at a later age than the rest; at least, this certainly is true for Lincoln, and really it makes a lot of sense. When you have to share the limelight and conversation with two other (*ahem*, verbose) children, who are also more than willing to do the talking for you, what need is there to speak in fully formed phrases or know a couple dozen words, even at age two??
For months now, when Lincoln goes in for his well-baby visits, the questions about language on the office surveys make my shoulders creep up to my ears a bit because it is hard to mark “no, no, no” to all of them, knowing that is a potential red flag for his development. Thankfully our pediatrician understands that Lincoln understands and right now, that is our primary concern. Can LT hear and does he know what we are saying to or asking of him? YES and YES! And so Doc is not worried, and since we know very well just how well Lincoln can communicate, neither are we.
Since our last check-up a few months ago, LT’s language has really taken off. He has a few two-to-three word phrases and lately has been adding words to his lexicon on the daily; current faves besides “NO!” (more on that in a moment) and “Pup pup” are “Noah” (our neighbor boy, and the only kid name LT can say) and “Home run!” (can you tell the children have been keeping tabs on the Royals with their dad this summer?!). Beyond the word acquisition, we know Linky understands us because he follows directions well (for a 2-yr-old) and he responds with a great deal of nonverbal communication, including the point, the stiff arm, and the emphatic nod.
Pointing is pretty typical of any young toddler. When he wants a certain food from the cupboard or table, he points to it; when he wants picked up, he’ll point up and then at himself, and so on. The stiff arm is perhaps more unique to Lincoln, especially in regards to picture taking. Do other 2yos hate paparazzi as much as my kid? He can’t stand having his photo taken, and more often than not, when I am camera-in-hand, ready to capture his cuteness, I instead get this:
Heaven help the photographer when we have family photos taken later this summer because his hand+grumpy face is a handful!
The emphatic nod is my favorite of all the Linky-isms. It usually follows our compliance with one of his point-requests, and I love how solemn and serious (and big) his head movements are when he is in agreement with the happenings around him. It’s just the darn cutest thing that I would share video of if I could, but that’s even more rare than happy photos of him these days.
Also rare in the world of our third kid? Time alone with Mom and Dad. Hardly is Lincoln ever without one or both of his siblings, and honestly, he seems to prefer it that way. Last week, however, both of the Bigs were off to Red, White, and Blue Camp at the Children’s Museum (RL’s first-ever camp experience and she loved it! Hooray!), and Lincoln was stuck with just us. And not just us, but just me for the first morning of it as Ben had a meeting that day. Considering I am not the favorite, it could have been a complete disaster, but as it was, we got through the couple of wow-I-am-almost-two meltdowns and enjoyed our time together. In fact, we even got this picture:
Reality check? We also got this one:
The rest of the mornings, Lincoln was happy to tag along on errands with Dad which included I’m not even sure how many trips to the grocery store getting ready for our big birthday/holiday weekend.
And on the fourth, our third celebrated his second birthday, which gets a pretty happy and emphatic nod of approval from us!