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Speech Development Blog by Tiffany Bartlett

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Journaling Your Toddler's Journey to Talking

Today I was sorting through things in the office, getting some packing done for our move.  I came across two old calendars.  The first calendar was milestones of my oldest son, Caleb's first year of life.  It was brief notes of his physical and speech development.  The second calendar was when my daughter, Emily was born.  When Emily was born, Jesse was almost 2 years old, and Caleb was nearly 3 years old.  This calendar had more specific notes on activities that we did together, Jesse's speech development, Caleb's potty training blues, and first milestones of Emily.  There were so many funny memories that I had already forgotten. 

The kid's are now almost 4, 5 1/2, and 6.  I realize now how quickly, we forget things that we thought we would never forget at the time.  For example, less than a week before Caleb's 3rd birthday, he cut his hair and said, "Mom, I'm doing a new hair!"  I didn't even remember Caleb cutting his hair.  At the time, I'm sure I thought I would never forget that moment, but understandably I did - my children were 3 months, almost 2, and 3 years old.  Things were definitely a blur then!

The most exciting part of reviewing these calendars, was reading and remembering my son, Jesse's speech development.  I am a bit partial to speech, but it was so fun to remember how he used to say things.  My favorite one was on October 25th, 2005  I wrote, "Jesse has been going around the house picking up things that are out of place, handing them to Rod or me and saying, 'deek-a-dung' (thank you)."  If I hadn't written this down, I would have never remember that adorable phrase.

So, why am I telling you all this?  Do you really care about the details of my family?  I am sharing this with you to encourage you to write things down.  It is so fun to read and reread over these.  These are special memories that your kid's will enjoy hearing too.  I regret not writing down more, but I'm motivated now to journal more for my children. 

So, how do you get started? - There are many ways that can work for you, but here was a simple way that worked for me!

  • Purchase a wall calendar that was large enough to take notes on - The calendar I used was the 16 month Family Organizer.
  • Keep the calendar in a easily accessible place (refrigerator, nursery wall, etc.).
  • Put as much detail as possible - it makes reliving the moment later, that much more enjoyable.
  • Don't just write down what your child said, but how they said it ("deek-a-dung" for thank you).
  • Don't feel bad for the time you didn't write it down, just begin again when you think about it.

Remember, if it's was worth sharing with a friend or family member, it's worth writing down.  Don't kid yourself into thinking you'll always remember.  As much as we love our children, memories get forgotten and mixed up.

In my speech calendar , there is a blank column to write down notes.  When you take advantage of writing short notes down, you can look back on them and see your child's progress as he or she makes the journey to talking!


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