Mum’s the Word

Watching a show on the TV tonight about a boy who didn’t speak until he was five. This, of course, becomes fodder for discussion…

Julianna (she’s 9): Daddy, did he not speak because he was afraid to speak or because he didn’t know how to?

Isabella (she’s 6): Or did he not know how to spell the words, so he didn’t want to say them?

J: Or maybe he had something in his throat, like an almond or a pistachio that stopped him and he couldn’t cough it out, but he could still breathe, but he couldn’t talk.

Iz: Or, his lips were chapped because he always breathed through his mouth and his lips dryed out and he couldn’t talk because of that.

J: Or, maybe, he had learned another language and didn’t understand what people were asking him when they spoke regular English, so he didn’t know what to say.

Iz: Or maybe he had hot peppers for dinner and his mouth was on fire and he didn’t have any cold water to cool his mouth down so he couldn’t talk, but just kept pointing to his mouth.

Me: Well, obviously children “not speaking” is, unfortunately, not a problem in this family. And, if you’ve had hot peppers, the cure is to drink milk, not water.

(By the way, I’ve known parents with kids who have this problem. They usually grow out of it. The kids, that is. The parents never recover.)

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