Monday, March 7, 2011

Apparently, I Don't Know Anything

At the beginning of this school year we were becoming concerned about Ben's speech.  We always knew he was a tad slower in the language development, but we didn't know if we thought that because Joey was such a big talker and Tommy was talking in full sentences at 18 months old, or if he really was delayed.  Our pediatrician told us he was doing fine and to keep an eye on it.  When we saw Ben with his classmates we could tell he was a bit behind some of the other kids.  He always had a lot to say, but we often didn't know what he was talking about.  His teacher brought the same concerns to us at a parent/teacher conference a few months ago.  We even talked to a speech therapist about our concerns and decided to give it a little more time before intervening. 

We no longer have any concerns.  In just a few months Ben has made some major progress.  I've been working with him on slowing down his speech when he gets excited and have been helping him correct his mispronunciations.  He has been a very good sport about having to repeat and repeat certain words with me, and his brothers have been very encouraging to him as well.  Now he can carry on conversations with strangers and they understand about 90% of what he says.  For a four year old, I think that is pretty good. 

However, the problem now is that he is so confident in his speaking abilities that he never stops.  Ever.  A twenty minute car ride to the store has become torturous.  And while I am certainly proud of him, and happy he is doing so well, a break in the conversation would be nice. 

And the questions!  My word, the questions.  How did I forget about this 4 year old phase?  Egad.  With the constant barrage of questions I have come to realize that I am an idiot.  I can't tell you how many times a day I say, "I don't know."  Sometimes it just seems like a quicker answer, and sometimes I really don't know.  Either way, the phrase is definitely overused by me.

The following took place this morning on a ten minute car ride to the grocery store.

Ben:  Mom, how fast do our wheels go?

Me:  As fast as I want them to.

Ben:  How fast are they going now?

Me: About 30 miles per hour.

Ben:  How fast is that?

Me:  About this fast.

Ben: What fast?

Me: Sigh

Knowing he wasn't going to get an answer out from that one he continued on.

Ben:  Is that your car wash?

Me:  I don't have a car wash, honey.

Ben:  Is that a new car wash?

Me:  I don't know.

Ben:  Does it have big brushes in it?

Me:  Probably.

Ben:  Are the brushes blue?

Me:  Maybe.

Ben:  Or are the brushes red?

Me:  I don't know.

Ben:  Can we get a car wash?

Me:  No honey, we don't have time for that today.

Ben:  Why are the clouds moving so fast today?

Me: Umm, I don't know.

Ben:  Where is your heart?  Is it here?

Me:  No, that is your shoulder.  I'll have to show you later, I'm driving now, okay?

Ben:  Can we make cookies today?

Me:  I don't know.

Ben:  How fast is a lion?

Me:  I don't know.

Ben:  Faster than our car?

Me:  No.

Ben:  Is daddy's truck faster than your car?

Me:  No. They are about the same.

Ben:  What color is this car again?

Me:  A tannish gold, I guess.

Ben:  How do they make that?

Me:  I don't know.  Hey Ben?  Mommy needs a some quiet for a little bit, could you stop with the questions?

Ben:  Okay.

Five seconds later.

Ben:  How long do I have to be quiet?

Me:  A couple minutes.

Ben:  Is that long?

Me:   No.

Ben:  How come Gracie gets to talk?

Me:  I don't know.

Ben:  Can we get some bakery at the store?

Me:   No.

Ben:  Why not?

Me:  Because we don't need any.  I thought you were going to stop asking me questions.

Ben:  Why?

Me:  Why what?

Ben:  Who is that?

Me:  I don't know.

Ben:  Why not?

Me:  Because I don't know every person in this city.

Ben:  Why?


Ben:  Why is winter so long?

Me:  I don't know.

Ben:  When is it gonna get warmer?

Me:  Soon

Ben:  How soon?

Me:  I don't know. 

Ben:  Why do you like coffee so much?

Me:  I don't know.

Ben:  How fast...

Me:  Ben?  I'm not going to answer anymore questions right now.

Ben:  Why?


Whatever keeps you quiet!


Burgh Baby said...

I'm all frustrated just reading that, which is probably because OMG, ME, TOO. Kids need a mute button. I promise I would only use it for ten minutes per day.

Mom24 said...

I vote for a mute button too! Really cute, and huge sigh of relief too though.

Karen Deborah said...

A child like that needs hands on building toys. Lego sets, erector sets, boxes of magnets, K- nex. Check out the science section of Timberdoodle. This kid wants to know how the world works. his brain goes about 100 miles an hour. I had one of these and the only way I had any peace was to give her things her mind could work on. He needs to discover the world in his own space sometimes or you will really go crazy.
But it's a very cute post. I like the mute button, wouldn't that be great? I have images in my mind of pointing a remote at everybody!!!! Talk about bein a control freak, sit, stand, shut up, hee heee heeee I am wicked.

Kat said...

Karen- Oh Lord have mercy, do you know how many toys my kids have? They have all kinds of K-nex and Legos and junk. I don't know if anything will keep him quiet. Which is both a relief and very annoying. Sometimes I just let him rattle off question after question without answering any of them. Sometimes I can get away with that and sometimes I can't. ;)

Kat said...

And yes. A mute button would be heavenly! :)

Tabor said...

Since you have other children you know how important in brief this time is with all the questions. Soon, way too soon, he will not even ask you the time of day.

Kat said...

Tabor- Awww, shoot. Now you made me sad. And the thing is, I thought about that while he was in his tirade this morning. It didn't help me much at the time. ;)

Brittany said...

It was all a ploy to get cookies!!! lol :)

Riahli said...

OMGoodness, I laughed so hard I almost peed myself! {TMI?} Boy do I know this all too well, when Banden went through this phase I thought I'd go crazy, now Atty is starting in, and although I am so very thankful that he is starting to ask me questions, it still has the ability to drive me bonkers. :p

Rima said...

Ha! It just means he's smart! Remember that Volkswagon commercial where the dad buckles his kid in, closes the door, walks around to his side, and she's been talking the whole time?

Yeah. We have that.

Lora said...

This literally made me laugh out loud!!

Dawn said...

Ha! That is too funny! That does bring back memories. Yes, four is a talkative age...and just wait until little Grace gets there. ;) My son, who is seven, just graduated out of three years of speech therapy! I don't think that his problems with people understanding him ever slowed down his questions though.

Loukia said...

So cute! And, love the picture!

Elaine A. said...

Yeah, I would say you have no reason to worry! HA HA HA! Love it!

Anonymous said...

Lol you're funny! And how cute! Miss you guys! And for the record, I understood him just fine when he asked who I was and why I was in your house ;)

Hilary said...

I hate to say it but Tabor is so right. I can't tell you how much I miss that phase.. when they look to you for all their answers.. sigh! Enjoy it. I know you mostly do and I can sure understand how it gets to be too much sometimes. You're allowed to tune him out occasionally. ;)

Kat said...

Chatterbug- Haha! That's right! I need to write that down too because I forgot about that. That was SO FUNNY.

Hilary- Before I had kids I would get so mad when I saw a mom ignoring her kids questions. I thought that was so mean. Little did I know. ;) I really do try to enjoy them while I've got them, but there are just some days...

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I swear, they need to install earplugs in Momvans. But that chatter--there's nothing in the world like little kid chatter.

historygirlie said...

We are having the same thing go on at our house. My 3 year old is a Chatty Kathy, but normally it's the same question/statement/song lyric over and over and OVER. Whew. I also would like a mute button. Once I tried and just looked at her and said "MUTE!" (it works with my high school students) but she just looked at me with a silly look and went on talking. :)

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I totally feel your pain! I'm glad his speech improved though.
My youngest two are 10 and 11 and their thing lately is asking what words mean. And at their age, they're never simple words that are easy to define. I told them they need to start carrying a dictionary around, because my name is NOT Webster! lol

Jeni said...

As you know, both my grandchildren (who live with me) are autistic. Both were initially diagnosed at about 18-20 months as having developmental delays and then, eventually that diagnosis was changed over to Autism. But on the speech issues, I know exactly -trust me -EXACTLY -what you are talking about! Two years ago this past September when Kurtis had his tonsils out, he had absolutely NO vocabulary! No way to communicate to us anything except to use sign language to indicate he wanted "more milk!" Today, he is such a chatterbox -and much of it people can understand too -that at times, we pray for sleep or at least, something to occupy him and keep him from talking incessantly or, acting much like his older sister with the consistent questions, upon more questions and still MORE questions! Isn't it funny how we worry when they don't speak or have difficulty with their speech and then, when it begins to kick in, it comes on if overdrive? Then you feel guilty wishing just for five minutes that this kid would please, please SHUT UP! LOL. I am truly grateful that Kurt (and Maya too) has the vocabulary he has today -so much better than when he was speechless -but a breather now and again, sure can be nice to experience too, can't it?

Lindsay said...

OMGoodness - I seriously LOL on this because I think you just recalled a "conversation" from one of OUR car rides! Seriously. And my 4 year old WAS in speech for almost 2 years. BLASTED SPEECH!! ;-) Just yesterday Jack was talking so much (during a 5 min car ride) I finally just turned the music up REALLY loud. LOL. Seriously - sometimes silence would be great....but yay for talkers! ???

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson