Think before you speak…

Monkey’s speech is developing so quickly and improving by the day. He tries to repeat just about everything and his pronunciation is getting a lot clearer. There are still times that we have no idea what he is saying, but most of the time we can work it out and some things he says are just so clear.

With this development, which we absolutely adore… we are really having to be careful what we say now. I nearly called it a phase but let’s face it, once they start talking and repeating things they don’t really stop, so this is it now, we have to be careful what we say from now on!

The most obvious words to avoid are obviously swear words and I am surprised how well we are doing with this. My language has always been… er pretty colourful, particularly when stressed, so there was definitely a time when I worried about Monkey’s first words being slightly rude. Somehow though it has completely changed and I am now almost anti-swearing. I guess maybe it’s because I am with most of the time, swearing almost feels wrong to me. At the wedding we went to last week someone swore and for about 5s I forgot that Monkey wasn’t with us and took a breath in…. then realised no kids were present so relaxed again.

Hubby is doing pretty well too, and I mean neither of us are 100% perfect and occasionally we gently correct each other but so far thankfully Monkey hasn’t picked up on any naughty words. What he has picked up on though is some of the random little phrases that hubby and I say without realising. I think everyone has things that they say regularly without realising. Monkey talking and being our little parrot we are becoming more aware of these little sayings.

This has been true ever since he first started talking as the first phrase he picked up was “I Don’t Know” not something we thought we said much, but once he started saying it, we realised that we both in fact said “I don’t know” to each other all of the time, even when we do actually know, so daft! Then he picked up a very reluctant ‘okay‘ from us when we don’t want to play play-doh for the millionth time!

Another phrase he has very much picked up on now is “Oh dear me” and apparently I say this quite a bit, as opposed to swearing I think! It is so funny hearing a little two year old running around saying “oh dear me.” He saw a man cutting the grass on one of those big drive on grass cutters the other day and it was “oh no! Oh dear me!!”  He drops something on the floor and it’s “oh dear me.” hehe I don’t think it’s purely me that says this though as I heard it being said on Postman Pat the other day, and as he loves it, that is a big influence on him too.

His other favourite thing to say is “No, not yet, soon” to anything he doesn’t want to do. I actually really like this one as at least there is room for maneuver. It is very rarely a definite no (though we do get those too of course) and we can then set a limit, so yes, after this episode, or after one more go on the slide, etc. etc. Again though I have a feeling he has picked this up from us, which is just amusing really.

Something else which he has definitely picked up from me is saying “I know” instead of yes. I really was not aware that I did that, but since Monkey has started saying it I have become so aware of how often I do it and I hate it! Makes me feel like a right know-it-all! Because I have been more aware I think I have been saying it less, and Monkey is definitely saying it less, which is good!

Only time will tell if he picks up any of the other things we say – hubby’s phrases are “it’s one of those things, where…” and “this is it” (hehe sorry hubs) so I wonder if Monkey will start parroting back those phrases any time soon!

Do you notice your kids repeating anything back to you? Any choice phrases they have picked up on?

Ethans Escapades

Brilliant blog posts on

An ‘Okay’ week

Our word of the week this week is “okay.” Not because it necessarily sums up our week, though it has been an ok week (you can read some of what we have been up to here), but because it is Monkey’s favourite word at the moment. It basically replaces yes.

The funniest thing about it is that he says it with the voice of a bored teenager, like “okaaaaay” if you insist mum, if I have to, if you really want to. Even though I know what he means is Yes! Yes! Yes!

A few examples

Shall we go on the swing? “Okaaaay” while running off clapping his hands

Him: “Chocat” Me: You’d like some chocolate? Him: “okaaay” Me: Sorry but no.

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Lots of Learning – Mini Milestones 26mths

Monkey seems to be at an age where he is learning so much- and just soaking things up like a sponge so I thought it was a good time to write another Mini Milestones post to write it all down somewhere. I also feel that a fitting word for my word of the week, is Learning.

Speech & Cognitive Development

This is the biggy at the moment really. His speech is, all of a sudden, coming on leaps and bounds. As a slightly later talker I have worried in the past and been frequently reassured that one day it will just click and there’ll be no stopping him. I wanted desperately to believe this but there was always a seed of worry and doubt at the back of my mind that it wouldn’t happen that way. But, well, everyone was right! Something has clicked in his brain and the words are flying out of his mouth.


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Monkey’s Speech at 25 months

Monkey is a late talker. I know all kids vary and do things in their own time, but this is one of those areas where Monkey has definitely lagged behind slightly. One of my friends’ little boys started talking at around 10 months, and most of the other toddlers we know started pretty early too.

But, judging by other toddlers at the music class Monkey goes too, and his tumble tots class, I have seen that it really is not that unusual for a toddler to not speak much until they are around the age of 2. Because it is something I once worried about (and therefore talked about a lot) I also know of lots of adults who didn’t speak until they were nearly 3 – and it never meant anything detrimental about their development.

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“I Don’t Know” – 23 months

“I Don’t Know” is Monkey’s latest favourite phrase, and to all of his family, it is the most wonderful sound in the world. He is a fairly late talker, although at not yet 2 it’s not like he is massively delayed, but compared to some of friends’ children who have been speaking since before they were even 1, it has felt like a big delay.

We’ve also worried that it was our fault in some way. We have read books to him since he was tiny, spoken to him about everything, sung songs every day, taken him to groups, done everything we could, and yet we never even had so much as a ‘mama’ or ‘dada.’ When I heard about health visitors praising the parents when a toddler has an excellent vocabulary, I panicked a little inside that in contrast then there must be something we weren’t doing right, fro him not to be saying any actual words.

I was consoled by the fact that he clearly understood so much of what we were saying, and many people said that it may be because he was such an early walker. His speech did gradually change and improve and I stopped worrying so much as I could tell that we were nearly there, though still didn’t know how long that would take.

Then a couple of months ago we were rewarded with his first word “go” and loved it. Since then he has added more words to his list, though not tonnes, but all random really. He still doesn’t really say mummy or daddy in any way shape or form, but he says go, sings row row row (for row, row the boat), says shoo to birds and sheep (learnt that one of the TV I think!) and says a few other words too occasionally, though not as frequently.

Not too long ago he started saying “oh dear” which we thought was lovely and he has now mastered the word “no” whereas he previously just shook his head. We are getting there with yes but it is a bit on and off. Then one day last week I was explaining to Monkey that we were going to collect his friend and that she was going to come in the car with us, as I didn’t want him to get upset by the unusual occurrence. He was looking at me very confused so I asked him “do you understand?” I don’t know why I asked, I wasn’t expecting a response but I always try and talk to him as if he is going to respond. Anyway, he just said three lovely words ” I don’t know.” Just once, but so clear, and my heart melted. He said it loads that day and melted Daddy’s heart too when he come home.

He just says it in the right context every time, you ask him a question and it is met with “I don’t know” in a variety of different tones! What do you want for lunch? “I don’t know.” What do you want to do? “I don’t know.” What does it feel like? “I don’t know.” It really has made us wonder if it something we say a lot to each other, and I guess it must be!

I think it is so special because we have been waiting so long for him to talk, and I guess that because it is more than one word, it really feels like you’re having a conversation, which obviously has never happened until this point! I don’t know whether it feels more magical to us because we’ve waited so long for it, or if we would have been just as soppy about it had he spoken earlier!

Over this weekend we have seen numerous members of our family who have all been treated to the same heart melting sound. There have been tears from a couple of his grandparents, and obvious pride from all his other family members to hear it.

His grandpops got a bit teary when Monkey said "I'don't know" at the restaurant

His grandpops got a bit teary when Monkey said “I’don’t know” at the restaurant

I’ve tried to catch it on video a couple of times, and he does say it here, but well, it doesn’t sound quite as good as when he says it more normally. I suppose he isn’t a performing seal though after all! I actually love his tone the last time daddy asks him in this clip, it’s like “I’ve already told you I don’t know, stop asking daddy!”

Ethans Escapades

The BEST Word of the Week- Monkey’s First Word!


We have an actual word from our little Monkey! He has said Go once before, a while ago, but it was never repeated. Then this week he started saying it again. To start with we weren’t sure. Is he just saying ‘ga’? But then he was pushing a car and he definitely said ‘go.’ We quite often say ‘ready, steady, go’ when playing with cars, so this made sense.

Then, in one of his Spot books there is a bit where you say ‘let go’ and he repeated ‘go’ back when Daddy said it to him. Then if daddy asked, can Leo say ‘go’ ? He said ‘go.’

I know this may sound daft as it’s such a small word but we are so excited! It’s been a long road to get here, I’ve talked about it many times and wondered if it was somehow my fault that he has been a late talker. We’ve been seeing progress over the last couple of months so I was worrying a lot less – but it is a huge relief to have that first word!

It is also quite an apt word as it really has been all ‘go’ this week! My car had it’s MOT and service, and now needs new tyres, boo :(. It’s also car insurance renewal for both our cars. Thankfully we have a savings account for car related things!  

Monkey had a doctors appointment this week too. He’s walked with is feet pointed out since he started walking at 10 mths and we’ve been waiting to see if there has been any improvement, but there hasn’t, so we have finally taken him to the doctors. Monkey was very good and his shyness has improved so much as he let the doctor move his legs about and we had no fuss at all! The Dr said it is probably nothing and he will probably be fine but has recommended we get him checked at the hospital just to be sure his hips are ok. So I am pretty nervous about that but best to be sure!

We’ve also found out this week that our tenants for my flat (where I lived before I met hubby) have given notice to leave at the end of March. So now we need to see what condition it’s in and try and sell it (again). We are hoping that the market has picked up a bit so we can sell it now, and still get out the money I originally put in. It would just be a real weight off our minds if it sold, but there’s work to be done before we can get it to that point.

This week hasn’t all been bad, we had a lovely Pancake Day meal with hubby’s family and Monkey likes pancakes – but only with golden syrup and whipped cream on hehe! We have also been busy doing lots of work and organising for our Operation Garden Renovation, which included finally ripping down the shed and arbor, and having a big bonfire in the garden! More to come on that next week!!

But, yes, Monkey is right, this week has definitely been all ‘go!’

Ethans Escapades

A Magic Moment with Monkey

After a lovely Christmas we unfortunately had a poorly New Years. I came down with a head cold with nasty sinus pain and sadly hubby and Monkey followed suit so it wasn’t the happiest couple of days! However, thank goodness for Calpol, Lemsips and Sudafed (not all together!) we had some happy times too. Hubby managed to catch this lovely happy moment between Monkey and I on New Year’s Eve that I thought I would share.


Granny bought him a book that both hubby and I remember from our childhood’s as being the ‘where’s ducky?’ book and it is as lovely as we remember it. It is also great for encouraging Monkey to speak and it’s lovely sitting together pointing at things and labelling them by saying the words.


As you can see we were having lovely Monkey and Mummy time, which is rarely caught on camera.




Starting to worry about the lack of speech…

I mentioned a couple of months ago that Monkey hadn’t started speaking yet, and unfortunately the same is still true. He’s not silent by any means, in fact he spends most of the day chatting, it’s just that there is no discernible words yet, and most of it is just ga ga ga, though there all sorts of other sounds too. On one hand I am not too worried as he understands a lot of what we said. He will go and pick things up when we ask him too, he knows to sit down, and understands all sorts of things… but we just aren’t any nearer talking. No that’s not fair, he is speaking more than he was a couple of weeks ago, but I just wish there was at least one word. He doesn’t even say Mummy or Daddy, though he can definitely point to each of us.

I try really hard not to worry but I just can’t help wondering if there is something else I should have been doing with him to encourage him. From day one we have been talking about everything and narrating things we do. We sing a lot and he can do hand movements to some of his favourites songs. We’ve also been reading books with him since he was very small and he just loves being read to and flicking through the books himself. We label things as we point them out and have started asking him if he can say simple words, like cat and ball etc.  But so far, nooothing.

I wonder if I haven’t done enough, do I not give him enough attention? Do we watch too much TV? Has that slowed his development? Do we talk too much so he can’t get a word in edgeways?

Like I say I try not to worry, I have researched into it a lot and read lots of things telling me that it isn’t abnormal. He’s very big and as he started walking earlier has been a little advanced for his age, and I read somewhere that if they are more physically advanced, sometimes speech can take a back step and be a little slower to come. I have spoken to so many people who say their child/sibling/friend/nephew was a late talker and then one day they just started speaking and never looked back. There’s lots of people and things telling me it is too early to worry but I can’t help it.

I think that maybe worrying is just part and parcel with motherhood. I know he’ll get there when he’s ready and the last thing I want to do is put pressure on him and make him retreat further. I just hope I haven’t done something wrong and slowed his development down. It’s a lot of responsibility!

Does anyone have any words of comfort? Any late speakers who are now, oh I don’t know, brain surgeons. or astro physicists? (haha) Any advice welcome too, how did you encourage your little ones to say words?

Stacking bricks and shape sorting, but still no talking – 16 months

Kids develop at their own pace, we all know that, but as a parent you are still looking out for those milestones and wondering when certain things will happen. It starts with the first smile, then the giggle, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking and talking. I think that covers most of the biggies, but there are smaller steps too with their coordination and motor movements, waving, clapping, stacking bricks etc.

Monkey was quite early with some things, as he was walking at 10 months. But talking, he is definitely not early with. My friend’s little boy was talking at 10 months but at the moment, at 16 months old, we have not even had a mama or dada yet. I mean he does say them, but he doesn’t seem to connect them with us in any way. My mother in law is convinced he says “all gone” but he makes loads of noises and yes, sometimes it is possible that they coincide with something happening that matches up…. but for every one of these times, there are hundreds more times where the same noise relates to absolutely nothing.

I try not to worry about it, because kids do develop at different times, but I can’t help keep all of the niggles at bay. I’m not worried about his hearing or his understanding as he definitely understands a lot of what we say. He can respond to simple instructions – such as ” where’s you ball? Go get your ball.” or “can you bring mummy the blue block” sometimes it takes a few goes but he definitely understands a lot of what we say. We try and encourage him to talk by labelling things and talking through what we are doing, and he does watch us intently sometimes and occasionally makes the sound of the first consonant but that is it. We don’t want to put too much pressure on as he is still young and I know he’ll get there when he is ready. Another friend’s nephew wasn’t talking until he was around 2 so I know we aren’t alone.

Sometimes though, it would just make life so much easier if he could talk. The other day he was screaming for ages and I had no idea why. It was really out of character for him and I was trying to ask him what hurt but nothing. Very frustrating! On the other hand though, he is so cute with all of the noises he makes that part of me doesn’t want it to change, as it means he is growing up. He does have other ways of communicating things with us even though he isn’t talking. He takes our hands and pulls us around places. He takes us to the kitchen or the table if he is hungry, he brings us our shoes if he wants to go out. He’ll get his postman pat toy out when he wants to watch the telly. He knows out to communicate with us, but just not with words. On the other hand he tries really hard and babbles away to us with such concentration on his face, usually something like  ga gu go ga gu, and I feel bad that I have no idea what he wants to say!

He is developing really well in other areas though. He built a brick tower with 5 bricks yesterday, which I was really impressed with as normally he is clumsy and knocks the towers over at around 3 or 4 bricks. He has also suddenly got so much better with his shape sorter toy now. Whereas for ages we have been giving him the right hole for each block, he can now find the right hole to put them in, which I was pretty amazed by! He doesn’t get it right 100% of the time of course but he does get it right more often than not which I am really impressed with.

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I’m sure that one day he will just come out with a word, and then there will be no stopping home. I’m sure that one day I will be reminiscing about these cute pre talking times but right now I can’t wait to hear his little voice say something, and for him to be able to talk to me.