Yet more proof that the little things are, in fact, the big things

When babies are just born the milestones come fast and furiously. New, little humans learn at a frenzied pace and it warrants tons of oohing and aahing. Am I right, parents?

This weekend, our family celebrated a huge victory for our 2-year old toddler when he finally said a word for which we had been waiting a very long time!

Here’s the backstory:

My youngest, Peter, is a late bloomer when it comes to speech. That means he hasn’t hit his milestones as far as the number of words he should be saying by now. I likely would be far more worried were he not my third child; experience has taught me to freak out less than I used to.

Yes, he’s learning two languages, and that might be slowing him down. Yes, as a third child he has two older siblings who are happy to speak for him.

Also, we have become incredibly adept at deciphering his little grunts and interpreting his miming. Picture this: he sweeps his pointer finger back and forth across his palm to tell me he wants peanut butter on his toast. Nope… not kidding!

As you might imagine, this dynamic has spurred some interesting conversations.

My father says Einstein didn’t speak until he was five, so it must mean Peter is a genius!  Thanks, Baba. (This fact has not been independently verified.)

My husband says Eli Manning didn’t speak until he was three, so our son may be honing his athletic prowess. (Also not independently verified.)

This might be true because one speech therapist told me some children put all their brain power into physical development, rather than verbal.

I wouldn’t be surprised. Peter can hit a baseball if I pitch to him and score goals on me if we’re playing hockey. This sports obsession is likely the result of quarantining with his 8-year old brother for the last seven straight months, uninterrupted, but what do I know?

I have heard dozens of anecdotes from other mothers who assure me one day Peter will start talking and never shut up. I totally belong in this camp!

Still, we have been proactive. Obligatory hearing test. Check.  Evaluation for a tongue tie. Check. No issues there. We also started speech therapy a month ago and we have definitely seen progress.

A few days ago, Peter finally said, “Papou!” It means grandfather in Greek. And my dad happened to be here to hear it!

It was a big deal. We clapped, and congratulated Peter, and took plenty of videos.

You see, the Greek word for grandmother, Yiayia, is something Peter has been saying for more than a year. So getting him to say Papou had been quite a sticking point between these youngest and oldest members of our family.

And it finally happened! A little boy, 2-years and 4-months old, made the day (maybe the year!) of an elderly man who 77-years old.  These two buddies were inseparable for a couple of days and basked in their glow of a special word that made them both so proud.

This development in our family taught me exactly what I already know, but really needed a reminder about:

Be patient. Everyone makes strides at their own pace. Sometimes, even when emotions are obvious and understood, we do need to go that extra step and proclaim them out loud! And victory is so much sweeter when God makes us wait just a little bit longer.