Edited by limabean - 1/17/11 at 4:00pm
They certainly don't sound 'delayed' to me either.
But people have their views and it's hard to change them.
What does your SIL think of this? It would drive me crazy if my MIL spoke about my kids this way. Maybe you can be extra supportive of SIL when you see her so she knows someone in the family sees her children's strengths.
I find myself getting very annoyed with people who seem to be blindly negative about something-even if it doesn't affect me directly. My MIL was invited to Florida (and we live in NE Ohio where I swear to God the sun doesn't shine from November-May) and all she did was complain about how long the trip was, and how Sue (her freind) makes her nervous with her driving, and what if it is too hot (!!), and what if it rains all the time...
I got so angry. And really why I care I don't know. So I hear ya for sure.
Yeah, I wonder if she just has it so stuck in her head that because they were born a little early, they will always be 'delayed'?
I could see why this would drive you crazy.
Maybe you could reframe the questions you ask her -- instead of, "How are they doing?" maybe something like, "What new things are they doing these days?" or even better, "What do you love most about them at this age?" So it almost forces her to think about it positively?
I think it bugs you so much because you fear what she says about you kids.
sounds to me like they are NOT delayed. my kid was delayed - no words before age 2. it wasn't even noteworthy until she was 18 months. i have had her in various community-based developmental programs since birth, so i had plenty of professionals and experienced facilitators to ask whether something was common, or something i should look into. i'd be very sensitive if my MIL was saying anything like that especially when there IS no delay! i mean i was realistic about DD1's delay - it was strictly in expressive speech. she understood EVERYTHING and could follow complicated instructions if i was talking to her across the room. she needed speech therapy, but whatever.. she's VERY bright and she has taught me that every kid is different. every kid has their strengths and their weaknesses. nobody follows a textbook in real life.
They sound right on target :)
Is you MIL one of those who latches on to any "bad" news and run with it. My MIL will worry out loud to anyone about all of someones issues. For my MIL, I think it's part worry, part need for attention (she has other issues that make me believe that.) She'll tell anyone about my niece's issues and my BIL's issues. Including the grocery store teller.
And yes, a 14 month old can be speech delayed. My son wasn't babbling until about 17 months. He didn't make ANY sounds, let alone anything that could be considered speech. Luckily for me, my MIL looked the other way when it came to him (according to her, no boys talk before 2, none!)
Does your MIL have more familiarity with babies from before the Back to Sleep Campaign? I hear babies used to reach various milestones earlier back then. (Because sleeping on their backs makes it hard for babies to enter "deep" sleep, which lessens the chance of SIDS but also means they're perpetually sleep-deprived and therefore can't learn as well.)
Not that that's any excuse to say only negative things about them.
That would really drive me crazy, too. Maybe bc it reminds me of my mother, though. In my mothers mind, the story of my downfall starts with how I was the last child in my class to learn to read. That's when she realized I was a "people person" and that she shouldn't push me too hard in school bc that would just be mean. Sigh.... It wasn't until my own child was learning how to read that it dawned on me that I was also the *youngest* person in the class. lol So, what jumps out at me is that it would be bad if this was a myth that she perpetuated and it became a self-fulfilling prophesy. I think it's probably damaging for kids to be around people that believe that kind of stuff about them even if it's never spoken. I'm sure she communicates it to them and her daughter even if she doesn't come out and say it. At some point I think I'd have to say something to her, though I'm not sure when that would be or how you know she's crossed some line. But it sounds to me like she's got a fairly ingrained belief that she's able to twist the facts to support and unless the boys start really behaving in an extraordinary way for their age, she won't let go of it, kwim?
You can tell your MIL that not all twins are delayed. My boys did everything early from rolling over to noticing each other. They both had two word sentences at the age of 10 months, walked at 11 months and are very bright. They were born at 37 weeks. My single daughter is 14 months, has 1 word, is not walking yet (is just pulling herself up) and I am having her evaluated. She has been in physio therapy since she was 3 months old, she was born at 40 weeks - so it has nothing to do with twins.
I worked in the field of special needs kids in a former life and even though your MIL doesn't say anything, I'm sure that her attitude will start to affect them, even if it hasn't already. Can you say something to your SIL and ask her what she thinks? If she doesn't think that they are delayed, will she say something to her mom? Sounds like you are in a tough situation, keep us posted.
I think it bothers you for several reasons:
1) The already-mentioned possibility that she was/is talking about your dc the same way.
2) The negativity of the whole thing.
3) The doom and gloom scenario for the future. Delays can be indications of some kind of problem, but they can also be...delays. DS2 said a word of two here and there, but he was way behind the curve on learning to speak. He didn't have more than maybe 10 words (and most of those had come only a couple of months earlier) until he was...26 or 27 months, I think? I was starting to think I should get him evaluated, but didn't get to it (various reasons, but mostly sheer pregnancy-induced fatigue). He's now five and a half. He has a bigger vocabulary than several of the kids in our complex who are nine or ten. He speaks clearly. He picked up reading on his own. He's probably about a second or third grade level in reading - but not in writing/printing - and probably second grade level in math. He was delayed in speech acquisition and also a little bit behind the curve (at least by my family's standards) in starting walk - about 15 months. But, that wasn't a life sentence, yk? It was a delay in reaching milestones. He's reached them. There's no indication that he was delayed in these things. So...your MIL's stuff about kindergarten, when the twins are only 16 months old, just seems incredibly defeatist. I think it would drive me mad!
They don't sound delayed to me, either! My son was walking at 11 months, but my daughter didn't walk until 17 months. Kids are just different! I think some people tend to dwell on the negative. My MIL has started suggesting that my son (4) is dyslexic because he sometimes draws his letters backwards or writes words from right to left (and sometimes does it right). And I just roll my eyes and ignore her. Every child that age I've observed does the same. She's always been kind of negative and looking for drama, and ignoring it minimizes the drama so she stops. I don't know if this situation is similar, but just a thought.