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More Than Words


The first time I saw a brain, a real brain, suspended in some greenish liquid at the front of my gross anatomy lab, I stood there, staring at it for a good long while. I was long past being disgusted by the organs of the human body, and seeing the folds of the creamy white tissue struck me only with a sense of wonder. This was it, right there: all that you were, all that you thought, all that made you you was right there in that innocuous looking organ.

Really, it could have been a football for as glamorous as it looked.

But to know how it worked, studying the nuances of neurology, that is poetry. All of the mysteries that we still do not know about how the synapses fire to make one person want to maim and dismember and one person want to paint the Sistine Chapel, that is beauty. The smooth folds folding seamlessly into each other made up separate and distinct parts of the brain and instinctively I rattled them off in my head as I examined the brain in the jar: the cerebral cortex, responsible for how we are feeling, our emotions. Those that make someone laugh or weep, smile or scream, right there.

The parietal lobe, which is how we use all of our senses at once to make decisions, the back of the head responsible for sight, the very sense I was using to examine the brain I was so enthralled by. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to drive a car, see the deep brown of my son’s eyes, the bright red of the fall leaves outside of the classroom. One by one, I observed all of these structures on that brain, carefully preserved in formalin in a jar labeled ABBY NORMAL.

How could something that looked like a Nerf ball be so mystifying and so shockingly resplendent in it’s simplicity at the same time? Something that made each of us who we are should have looked unique, special, like a jewel and somehow, the more brains I saw, the more I realized that they all looked pretty much the same.

Maybe it’s what we do with those hunks of white matter that contains the beauty, because with the exception of the cerebellum (which is surprisingly beautiful), it’s a highly understated organ, especially when compared to something flashy like the kidneys.

When my daughter was born with part of her brain hanging jauntily out of the back of her head, the doctors pretty much shrugged their shoulders when we asked what that meant about her future. While she showed no signs of neurological damage, she could be profoundly normal or profoundly retarded, it simply wasn’t something that could be determined by a blood test or an MRI.

Up until she was a year old, Amelia was followed by Early Intervention, who came every couple of months, tested her, declared her normal and left. When she turned a year, I figured it was probably time to let them close the case on her for now and promise to make a call back if something changed. I know the drill with special needs kids well enough, and her medical diagnosis is an immediate qualifier for assistance.

It’s taken me until now to realize that there is actually something wrong with her beautiful brain.

Amelia has no words.

She has no words.

No glorious words, the very thing that I make my (pathetic) living from, she has none. I’ve always derived so much happiness in putting together combination of words to titillate, horrify, or move people, and she has not one word.

She’s had words before, they’ve slipped out of her mouth for a couple of days until it appears that she forgets them and goes back to shrieking and grunting to get her point across. In many ways, this terrifies me more than seeing my mute autistic son did, because it seems as though she has words, then loses them again.

It’s time to call the specialists back in and help my daughter find her words.

For good, this time.

I have a lot of delicious combinations to teach her.

135 Comments to

“More Than Words”

  1. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:15 am Miss Grace Says:

    Oh my dear heart. Love and thoughts to your beautiful daughter. She’ll find her words.
    And hugs to you.
    Stay strong mama.

  2. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:19 am Angella Says:

    Big hugs to you and yours.

  3. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:23 am Nick Bell Says:

    Words are so powerful, and to have them taken away is so sad. Good luck in getting her the help she needs.

  4. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:28 am lizfits Says:

    Aww, honey. She’s going to find them. Maybe she’s just memorizing the really good ones you’re already teaching her so she can just let go with a really great monologue at the perfect(ly inappropriate) moment. Best of luck, and lots of hugs. This will all be fine!

  5. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:30 am Becky Mochaface Says:

    I hope Amelia finds her words. And in the meantime, she has an amazing mother to translate for her. Much love and hugs to you both.

  6. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:31 am Lynette Says:

    Wow, I can’t even imagine. In the realm of “sticking in advice where it wasn’t asked for”, have you thought about/tried signing with her? I did with my daughter (who is thankfully, blessedly normal) and it was AWESOME.

    There’s this show called Signing Time ( – I submit that Rachel and her family’s story is nothing short of astounding. I will never be a quarter the person Rachel is, if I spent all my time trying. Because OBVIOUSLY. The show is geared towards teaching young kids basic signs. You can sometimes find dvds in your library.

    Seriously – it was the BEST THING EVER for my family. My kid, at 11 months, had a handful of spoken words, but a lot more signs. We asked her if she wanted cereal for breakfast. She signed “No. Baby eat pancakes!” … HELL YES YOU DO.

    Good luck!

  7. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:32 am Ryan Russell Says:

    She’s very lucky to have you for a mom.

  8. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:32 am Jennifer B Says:

    Mimi! You are so amazing, I know you can conquer this too. It’s probably going to take some time and some “rewiring” of pathways, but with her strength and will, she WILL find her words. I know it.

  9. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:34 am Julia Says:

    I can only imagine how you must feel. My niece has apraxia, and even at the age of 9 it’s very difficult for her to get out the sounds that she is trying to make in a way that we can understand them as words. She’s been in speech therapy for years, and it does help. They also considered teaching her sign language, but her mother felt it might hold her back further. She has trouble with any fine motor control so I don’t know if it would have helped anyway. She can’t write well or draw at all. Never tried to ride a bicycle. It’s hard to think about what she will be when she grows up – she’s smart, but can’t express it, which is visibly frustrating for her.

    I bought her a digital Tinkerbell camera for her birthday, in the hopes that it could give her a medium for expression – a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

  10. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:35 am denise Says:

    i hope this turns out to be a relatively easy fix for yall. big hugs to you!!

  11. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:35 am Melissa Says:

    I echo, I think she will find them again and then just tell you off in one big run on sentence. Something along the lines of “Where is my binky bitch!”

    Actually I have been thinking about that since you mentioned it in passing. Good luck with the therapy. Mimi will do it! She kicks ass! (((hugs)))

  12. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:38 am Cara Says:

    How I desperately want to comfort you and tell you that she is just super stubborn.

    But, I know that you are looking to this with your eyes open and there is a possiblity it could be more. There are a lot of people who will pray and stand strong beside you. Count me as one!

  13. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:38 am Fran Says:

    I have to think that she will overcome this! Iknow children who are perfectly normal and did not utter a sound until they were almost 2. Especially the youngest child in a what I can only imagine is a chatter filled house like mine is. So with that in mind I am going with the she-doesn’t-need-to-talk-yet argument and will wait on tenterhooks to hear what the doctors say. (((hugs))) to you Mimi and Aunt Becky too

  14. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:45 am MommaKiss Says:

    oh my heart, words. she’ll get them. you’ll help her and she’ll get them. and then she’ll never ever stop singing and you’ll jump for joy.

  15. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:46 am Paul Says:

    What a heartbreaking account of the situation you have found yourself in. As the father of 4 healthy children , now young adults, our concern was always what they’d do with their lives. But to have a child who’s development will take a much different course is staggering. Like a musician who’s child can’t hear or an artist with a blind child you must be overwhelmed with despair. I am not clear as to wether she can write yet and hopefully her communication will develop normally. I hope and pray that she will be helped. In any case she is a gift to be cherished for everything she has to offer!

    Paul T.

  16. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:46 am Sara @ Life With the Two Says:

    Oh Becky.
    Love, hugs, and positive thoughts your way. I know this isn’t going to be any kinds of easy, but with you as her momma (and with the Daver, and her brothers on her side), Miss Amelia is going to kick major ass.


  17. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:49 am Mary Says:

    I don’t know very much about how the brain works. But I remember reading that the brain, with the right stimulation, neural connections can grow. Mimi is an amazing little girl who has conquered so much already. She is a fighter. She sees what she wants and goes after it. My prayers and hugs for you and your family at this challenging time.

  18. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:53 am Maria Says:

    I know there are blenty of “chesticles, ball licker and motherfuckers” in her very near future. πŸ˜€

  19. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:54 am avasmommy Says:

    Oh love. I feel your pain. Truly. Ava is delayed in speech. She didn’t talk at all by 12 months. Even now at 2, she is still only using one word at a time. All pretty much one syllable words. Definitely not where she should be for her age. I have no idea why. Up to now the doctors keep telling me to wait. We visit again in 2 weeks, and dammit, I’m going to be demanding answers.

    I didn’t meant to vent here, sorry about that. I understand what you’re going through. You have my email. Use it anytime if you need to talk.


  20. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:57 am Amanda@LadyScientist Says:

    My thoughts (and prayers, if that’s fine) are with you and Mimi. The good thing is that you’re getting on this now. We both know how adaptable the human brain is– which is a heck of a lot– and fostering those neural connections early is the best thing for you to do. If I can do anything, drop me an email.

  21. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:58 am Terresa E Says:

    My son uttered only a few words before his third birthday and now he hardly ever shuts up and tells the most glorious, long-winded stories. I’m hoping the same for you and Mimi.

  22. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:59 am Morgan {the818} Says:

    I can only imagine what you’re feeling. But that beautiful brain is working hard, and she’ll find her words – she has you to teach her each magical one.

  23. On June 9th, 2010 at 12:08 pm Mrs Soup Says:

    I love you and am praying.

    Mimi is going to kick some ass and take some names.

  24. On June 9th, 2010 at 12:08 pm a Says:

    Crap. I don’t like this news. πŸ™

    She’s perfect anyway. And one way or another, she’ll find her words, because she’s got a mom who will lead her there.

    (There is something to the…I’ll say 3rd child thing mentioned by another prankster. Amelia may be relying on others to do the work for her. My next-oldest sister didn’t talk until she was 3 because my 2 older sisters did all the talking for her. I would guess she only talked because I (the youngest) was doing it, and she certainly wasn’t going to let me win.)

  25. On June 9th, 2010 at 12:19 pm Barbara Says:

    I can’t even imagine how hard it is to see your daughter like that. Having no kids of my own, I have no idea what it is like. I hope things turn out ok for her.

  26. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:27 am Dot Says:

    Oh, Becky. There are tears in my eyes.

  27. On June 9th, 2010 at 12:28 pm kalakly Says:

    Fuck Becky, this blows. The stress, the anxiety, the what if’s. They are the worst part, the hardest part of being a parent. I hope you get answers as soon as poss so you can start knocking down the doors you need to to get Mimi whatever it is she needs to open the floodgates and let it all hang out.
    Having had both a good friends daughter and my currently 2 year old niece, require speech intervention because of delayed language, I have seen first hand the amazing things they can do to coax the words out. I think(without an MD degree to back my ‘think’) that it is a very good sign that she has shown you they are in there. May just need some help showing them the way out. I hope, with all my heart, that is all it is.
    Holding you both close and wishing to soon hear you shouting all the way over hear, “Mimi, can you stop talking for a second Mom has got to Pee for the love of GOD!”

  28. On June 9th, 2010 at 12:31 pm cathyjoy Says:

    oh becky!

    you and the awesome mimi are in my prayers. she’s gonna find her words, probly all at once, and amaze y’all!


  29. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:38 am Betty M Says:

    Thinking of you and Amelia. I’m sure calling in the specialists asap is the right thing to do and that they will be able to help. can’t think of a better advocate for her than you.

  30. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:48 am amber Says:

    Oh no. A world without words is difficult to imagine. I hope those specialists know exactly what needs to be done, and that your beautiful girl finds her voice soon.

  31. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:48 am Chibi Jeebs Says:

    I’m sure Mimi’s just messing with her mama. That being said, you’re all in my thoughts and prayers, lady. Don’t forget: I’m only a DM/email/Gchat away. Love you, dollface.

  32. On June 9th, 2010 at 12:51 pm kbreints Says:

    Oh Becky– You are a wonderful mother and she is a very lucky =little girl to have you. If anyone will help her find her words– it will be you.

  33. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:53 am Lis0r Says:

    I recently had someone say in conversation that it took them until they were almost 2 to speak, but once they finally got started they made up for lost time…for 40 years.

    You who speaks and writes so well, you will help Mimi find her words one way or another, and once you do she’ll make up for lost time. You’ll have lots to talk about. <3

  34. On June 9th, 2010 at 12:57 pm stacey@Havoc&Mayhem Says:


    Hopefully it is just being 3rd born, possibly it is due to her plan to take over the world. She doesn’t want to give any details away by accident so she says nothing until she is ready to make her move.

  35. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:58 am melanie Says:

    My daughter just turned two… and while she has quite a few words–WHEN SHE WANTS TO, there are times when she just flat out wont use them…. she grunts, she points she stomps her feet as I try and make her say “Milk please” or hell just PLEASE, she looks at me as if I am sprouting horns on my head!!! Both of my kids who are “normal” have been VERY slow talkers (my son to the point where I was asking doctors about autism but he didn’t have any of the other symptoms/signs)…. he eventually outgrew all of the language frustration “stage” but I would say he was at least 2 1/2-3yrs old….. I will continue to hope and pray that Amelia is just doing what my kids have done on numerous times (ie scared the shit out of me for no reason)….

    HUGS to you all

  36. On June 9th, 2010 at 12:59 pm The Mommy Says:

    I say, asking for help is sometimes the hardest thing. She obviously knows what she wants (I remember the shoe post:)) and she’ll get there. On the other hand, I think signing is a valuable tool for babies this age whether there’s a question or not (and not because I’ve done it MYSELF but because I’ve seen results from others) Good luck, sweetie. (HUGS)

  37. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:03 pm Stephanie Says:

    I understand that the relevation is heartbreaking. My heart is breaking for her too.

    She will kick this in the ass like everything else. I just know it and can’t wait to hear about it when she does!

  38. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:03 pm leanne Says:

    aw, fuckity fuck, Becky.

    But teach her you will. Because you’re her mama and the two of you have some serious ass kicking to do.

    Thoughts, prayers, and hugs your way (and anything else that might help, you let me know)

  39. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:05 pm Alyssa Says:

    While not a parent myself, I’ve known quite a few kids who took a little longer to start talking. My cousin Roy only said a few words until he was 2, almost 3. Thats when my aunt found out he needed tubes in his ears.. little bugger couldn’t hear very well to even learn the words! So after the tubes were put in and a few years of speech thepary, he now doesn’t shut up. Mimi will find her words (probably the worst one at the most inconvenient moment) and you’ll just be grinning ear to ear not just because she said something amusing, but because she said something. She’ll get there, after all look who she has for a mom! I’ll be keeping you all in my prayers.

  40. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:06 pm dg @diaryofamadbathroom Says:

    The beautiful and ass-kicking Amelia Grace is in my thoughts. She has the good fortune to have smart and strong parents on her side.

  41. On June 9th, 2010 at 12:07 pm Elly Lou Says:

    I don’t have any words, either. Well, I did manage to squeak out an “Oh Shit” when I read that. So all I’ve got is hugs for you. And maybe some prescriptions meds I can share. I’m thinking of you guys.

  42. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:20 pm Sue Says:

    Speech Language Pathologists rock. Hoping that this is simply (simply?) a delay, a bump in the road for your amazing Amelia. Some kids do develop late (I, for example didn’t speak til 3, then rattled off paragraphs, apparently), but it seems something more is going on.

    I’m sorry you have this struggle. I am hopeful, no, confident, that a great SLP will help Mimi find, articulate and hold onto her words. No doubt, with a mother like you, she’s got some freaking awesome stories to tell, herself.

    Lots of love, Becky.


  43. On June 9th, 2010 at 12:21 pm @mikemoore72 Says:

    my daughter did not say MOM until she was 3. once she did start talking she had an expressive language delay, which we went to speech therapy for and it helped tremendously. on memorial day this year she turned 8 and is very articulate. she also never stops talking. ever.

  44. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:31 pm Michelle @ Mommy Loves Stilettos Says:

    I can’t even imagine how this makes you feel. I want to comment, but I just don’t know what to say. So know that I’m thinking of you and your daughter. *HUGS*

  45. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:44 pm wendy Says:

    As a mom of a special needs kiddo myself, I know where you’re coming from. Much love to you.

  46. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:54 pm Emily (Apron Strings) Says:

    I’m sooo sorry, Aunt Becky. Here’s hoping that this is only a tiny speed bump; because I know how much you must teach her.

    And btw … love the reference to Young Frankenstein.

  47. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:00 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    Maybe, just maybe, she realized she doesn’t NEED to use words because you respond to the grunts and screeches? I know sometimes if kids aren’t forced to speak using words they don’t pick them up on their own. That’s my theory.

  48. On June 9th, 2010 at 2:02 pm Tasha Says:

    {{hugs}} she’ll be kicking ass and taking names soon. I have no doubt about this πŸ™‚

  49. On June 9th, 2010 at 2:04 pm Kristin Says:

    Oh Becky, she will find her words. I have absolute faith in that. Our little ass kicker who goes by the name Amelia Grace has one of the strongest mommies around and she has a ton of other warriors in her corner. {{{Hugs}}}

  50. On June 9th, 2010 at 2:07 pm Brooke Says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how you can make something so daunting and worrisome beautiful (if you can call it that – you know what I mean)with your words. Your love for your children is so incredibly evident in your writing. You and Amelia are in my thoughts. I hope she finds her words and someday learns to use that as eloquently as her mother does.

  51. On June 9th, 2010 at 2:09 pm Nancy C Says:

    She’s a fighter, and her awesomeness will whip this one, too.

  52. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:10 pm soccermom Says:

    How sad, that brought tears to my eyes. My prayers are with you.

  53. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:12 pm Coco Says:

    Oh, Becks. I know how worried you must be.

    Mimi is communicating and expressing in other ways, though, correct? That’s huge. I think an evaluation will help ease some of your fears. She has kicked the crap out of life with those wee feet of heres since she was born and I sincerely believe that she will continue to do so.

    Badger didn’t talk at her age. A word or two, maybe. At three he was still only stringing a couple words together. You already know it took me years to finally get him some help and they didn’t even give him formal speech therapy – but what they did do with him worked wonders from a year ago. He literally will not shut up now. He talks, he sings, he tells me stories, he is just amazing me.

    I am here if you need me. I have been on Team Mimi AND Team Becky as a charter member, you know!

  54. On June 9th, 2010 at 2:50 pm The Sweetest Says:

    She has words- they just aren’t coming out loud yet! She is still so little. I’m not going to tell you not to worry because you will anyway- that’s what smart moms do. But your baby girl is smart, too- and she will be more verbally communicative. And you will be wondering what happened to the days of grunting and pointing.

  55. On June 9th, 2010 at 2:51 pm Neeroc Says:

    Good on you for noticing and taking immediate action. Here’s to hoping that Amelia will soon blurting out all sorts of embarrassing gems…the ones that you’ll save up for her teenage years.

  56. On June 9th, 2010 at 2:52 pm Melissa Says:

    I can relate, kind of. Evan (AKA Boy Wonder, Asperger King and Dammit Kid, the fifteen year old light of my life) would not talk but for one word utterances until he was nearly three. When he did decide to talk, it was long-winded monologues involving Thomas the Tank Engine. The kid couldn’t show you a hairbrush, but he’d recite episodes of Shining Time Station verbatim. Long story short, Early Intervention and speech therapy have given me a very articulate and verbose young man. They are saints. I think they will help Mimi find her words too.

  57. On June 9th, 2010 at 1:56 pm Lori Lavender Luz Says:

    Kudos to you for noticing and acting so soon.

    May there soon be so many words that your pleas switch to “Quiet down!”

    Abiding with you.

  58. On June 9th, 2010 at 3:00 pm Katie Says:

    I’m right there with you. Well, aside from the whole encephale thing. That minor detail. I’m sitting here waiting on my return call from Early Intervention to re-enroll my daughter for her lack of words as well. Although I will say placing the phone call seems to help as she now has 3 words. Maybe try that, see what happens. πŸ™‚

  59. On June 9th, 2010 at 3:38 pm Aurelia Says:

    My used-to-have-words, then no-words-completely-silent baby son, is now 2, and everyone told me that he had perfect hearing but it was my fault he wasn’t speaking because obviously he must have some developmental issues.

    Meanwhile–he’s been intermittently deaf. For a year. Due to huge earwax plugs that could only be seen by an ENT with special equipment. His ears were plugged and unplugged at various times due to Docs clearing them, or drops, or other factors. They’d come right back after clearing. So deaf again.

    No one believed me. No one. But it can happen. kids with cranio-facial issues can have hearing problems that change as they grow.

    So first–make sure you see an ENT and they do a really good exam. Then an audiologist for a really thorough hearing test, with multiple tone levels checked.

    Then and only then, do speech therapy. I still can’t believe I paid $500 for a speech assessment on a temporarily deaf kid and all the damn analysis was wrong….learn from from stupid moms like me!

  60. On June 9th, 2010 at 2:39 pm Libby Says:

    She’ll find her words. And then she won’t stop talking. I didn’t speak until I was almost three…

  61. On June 9th, 2010 at 3:41 pm mumma boo Says:

    Mimi will find her words again – and you will be amazed at what she strings together. She may need some help getting them out, but they’re in there, waiting for you and her SLP to teach her some tricks into getting them out. She needs to be yelling “Damn it!” with her brothers now that Jack Bauer is no longer on screen. Someone mentioned ear tubes – that is also worth looking into. The same thing happened to my neighbor’s sons; they had the surgery and now they won’t shut up for love nor money.

    Sending good thoughts your way and holding your hand in cyberspace. You know where I am if you need me. Smooches to all those cute cheeks at Casa di Aunt Becky.

  62. On June 9th, 2010 at 3:47 pm pattypunker Says:

    i can’t wait for the day when amelia teaches us all some new words cuz she’s gonna kick word ass. she’ll be a motherfucking word NINJA! (and she will have learned from the best.)

    (((love and hugs)))

  63. On June 9th, 2010 at 4:12 pm Zakary Says:

    First of all, Mimi is a badass. I mean, come one. She’s related to you. She is just waiting for the right time to bust out with the words. She’s going to make you work for it.

    Because she is a pretty princess diva. That kicks ass.

    (And this makes my heart hurt. xo)

  64. On June 9th, 2010 at 3:27 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    Oh hell, Becky. I’m so glad you’ve noticed and are paying attention. I know you must be scared witless. But I think that your daughter is going to kick ass here and will be talking. It might take some work, but that’s okay. I am sending love.

  65. On June 9th, 2010 at 4:29 pm My Reality Says:

    I hope that your miracle girl will soon be driving you nuts with all of her chattering.

  66. On June 9th, 2010 at 4:29 pm Mwa Says:

    Sending you a big hug. x

  67. On June 9th, 2010 at 3:33 pm Wombat Central Says:

    Hang in there, mama. Miss ass-kicker will be cussing out her brothers in no time.

  68. On June 9th, 2010 at 4:40 pm not2tall1 Says:

    It can’t be easy to know that your daughter’s words are at a stand still, but when she has her words, they will be magic.

    I hope she finds her words when she’s ready. She’s a strong, amazing, fabulous creature, and she will have a lot to share with the world.

  69. On June 9th, 2010 at 4:51 pm Rebecca Says:

    Aunt Becky, my little Joey is finding his words and he’s 3 years old. Your Amelia will find hers……..and she’ll talk the paint off walls just like her mom!

  70. On June 9th, 2010 at 4:55 pm Shin Ae Says:


    I hope and pray for peace for you, and for a huge dose of the kind of stubborn strength it takes for mamas to deal with this kind of thing. And that she speaks and delights you over and over again with what she says to you.

  71. On June 9th, 2010 at 5:01 pm mel Says:

    awww… Aunt Bex! Big hugs for you and fingers crossed that Mimi is just saving up her awesomeness to completely stun the world (it’s all part of the plan to take over!) at some point in the near future!

  72. On June 9th, 2010 at 5:03 pm Megan T Says:

    Sending you good thoughts and optimism through the internets. Go find em miss Mimi!

  73. On June 9th, 2010 at 4:29 pm Erin Says:

    No matter what, we’ve always got love for Mimi. And she’s got an incredible family. That’s half the battle.

    I’m sorry you guys have to go through this anxiety, Becky. Sending our love.

  74. On June 9th, 2010 at 5:44 pm katrina Says:

    Aw, this makes me hurt with you. But i have complete faith in mz amelia grace and in you. You will take her to specialist and find out what is, if anything, not working correctly. Then you will do what needs to be done. Shit, she kicked neurosurgery’s butt, she can definitely do this.

    It could be that mimi just doesn’t need to use her words…….(stomping and pointing work well, and she has helpful siblings to ‘talk’ for her.) Or, she just isn’t ready to/or just doesn’t want to talk… son didn’t talk until he was 3… reason, that’s just the stubborn type of little guy he was. (It didn’t hold him back at all, since he was ‘identified’ as ‘gifted’– in language, no less, in first grade)( a little sarcasm…I mean, how gifted can you be in first grade???) Anyway, I taught both my kids signing, just for the fun of it….they wanted to learn new words….(and as a bonus, i could YELL at them,(in sign), in the grocery store).

    I will keep you and mimi in my heart and prayers. She is lucky to have such wonderful parents. I am hoping she’s just being her little independent self, and will start using her words when she is ready.

  75. On June 9th, 2010 at 6:07 pm lis Says:

    thinking of you all and knowing Mimi will kick early intervention’s ass! and take names doing it.


  76. On June 9th, 2010 at 6:09 pm Andrea Says:

    Hugs, hugs, and even a few more hugs.

    The coolest thing about the brain is it’s remarkable capacity to adapt. She’s so young — it has a lot of time to change. I’ve read about kids who have half of their brain removed, and the remaining half pics up with few deficits. Anything is possible with the miraculous brain.

    So hang tight, Mama, and know the pranksters are thinking of you!

  77. On June 9th, 2010 at 5:23 pm daisybv2 Says:

    Mimi is Amazing and she will continue to shine even if she needs a little help from a someone.

    My lil Guy says words but does not walk I know he is “adjusted” at 15 months and he does walk holding my hand or holding onto things, but I am on the fence about what to do if I should seek help or not. Any advice?

  78. On June 14th, 2010 at 9:32 am Alice Says:

    I don’t know if you will see this or not, but I wanted to let you know about my grandson.

    Ian didn’t walk until he was 19 months old. We were concerned, and at 15 months the doctor told my daughter that if Ian wasn’t walking by 20 months, then they would start investigating. But once he started walking, he was fine. He’s 4 1/2 and is as fit and athletic as any kid – He rides his scooter like a pro, and rides his bike long distances, and climbes – he’s just fine.

    I’m sure your Guy will be fine also.

  79. On June 9th, 2010 at 5:25 pm angryworkingmom Says:


    No better person on the planet to teach her words than Aunt Becky! There is no one out there who can craft a 32 word, profanity laced sentence like you! Mimi will find her words..she will, she’s beat a hell of a lot of odds already and she will too kick this things ass!

    God Speed!

  80. On June 9th, 2010 at 6:29 pm charmingbitch Says:


  81. On June 9th, 2010 at 6:47 pm Jenn Says:

    I won’t tell you that everything will be okay because what the fuck do I know? I will say that I have heard of this happening before, kids are just weird sometimes when it comes to language (and everything else). My nephew was an early talker and then he just stopped one day. About 6 months later he started again and hasn’t stopped since. No one really knows WHY but there it is. Try not to get too discouraged (easier said than done, I know!). It might be that she has realized she doesn’t really NEED to talk to get what she wants (one of my cousin’s kids CAN talk but since she gets whatever she wants by pointing, she rarely bothers) so she’s saving up for the really big stuff.

    I’m thinking of you guys. I’m also thinking that Miss Amelia Grace is going to shock the pants off you with the things that come out of her mouth someday. You know, if she’s anything like her mother. πŸ˜‰


  82. On June 9th, 2010 at 7:01 pm Kim - In Search of Me in Mommy Says:

    Awww…shit, that sucks But good for you for following your gut and getting things checked out. She’s so lucky to have you – and you’re so lucky to have her. Together you will work through this.

  83. On June 9th, 2010 at 7:50 pm Paul Lundgren Says:

    Jesus, Becky…you broke my heart. Again. That hug you have coming gets bigger all the time. Much love.

  84. On June 9th, 2010 at 6:51 pm Kathryn Says:

    Chin-up Mama. You are doing the right thing. All THREE of my kids needed speech. My oldest had NO short term memory. We had to teach him every word in his vocabulary…over and over and over again. Today? I can’t keep him quiet. Memory is still rough, he has learning issues but we work our tails off and he is doing well. Have a good cry and then get working for your little lady. I have a feeling you will get her back on track quicker than you think.

  85. On June 9th, 2010 at 7:52 pm Paul Lundgren Says:

    Becky, you deserve so much more. And there’s still so much time for her. Much love.

  86. On June 9th, 2010 at 7:56 pm Paul Lundgren Says:

    We love you, Becky. We’re here if you need us.

  87. On June 9th, 2010 at 8:18 pm Johanne Says:

    You know, I was having a bad day, and feeling kind of sorry for myself, and then I came here and read your beautiful and moving blog entry. Thank you for reminding me that there are far more important things in this world. I will think all my good thoughts for you and your daughter and hope she finds her words so that she can be as articulate as her mother.

  88. On June 9th, 2010 at 7:24 pm Halala Mama Says:

    Ahhh Good luck Becky. Amelia’s preschool language is going to earn her many time outs in the future…

  89. On June 9th, 2010 at 8:28 pm Mer Says:

    I can’t pretend to know what you’re feeling, but I will be sitting here with so many others, rooting for Amelia and waiting for the day you have to tell her to shut up because she talks too much. I know it will come, sooner or later.

  90. On June 9th, 2010 at 8:45 pm john'smom Says:

    Oh my! I know how you must feel. I am sure that one day, relatively soon, you will be thanking God for her lovely voice, but also wishing that she realized that silence is golden… having patience SUCKS!!! But Early Intervention ROCKS, they are a great resource. If it helps, my friend’s brother did not speak words until he was 4, he had been to several specialists and they couldn’t understand it. When he finally graced the world with his words, he spoke in complete sentences, without baby talk or speech impediments. (So get her checked out, but she might just be screwing with you!)

  91. On June 9th, 2010 at 8:55 pm Claire Gregory Says:

    Aw, Becky. Big hugs to you. We’ve faced up a communication delay with Sophie for a while now, but after eight months of speech therapy she’s now up to date. When you get some therapy going, Mimi will kick that right in the butt too. When I take Sophie to speech therapy, she clams right up and won’t say a thing. And then when we get home, she tells me “Keys! Door! Open!”. Point being, she chooses when to talk and when not to. Some days she won’t say a thing except for grunts and “Eh! Eh! Eh!” (the catch-all “I want that” noise). Other days she babbles, other days she tests out words and talks plenty. They do things in their own way.

    I can’t tell you how many friends have told me that their kids didn’t speak until they were three or four, and then they just broke out in sentences. It seems like the ones who are going gangbusters on the walking/ physical stuff take a little longer to master talking. They’re using all the energy in that beautiful brain to learn other stuff. And they all learn differently, too.

    Anyway! Mimi is going to be fine, fine, fine. I bet she has no trouble getting her point across right now, so you know she *is* communicating all right. Just not with words. Not yet. But she will.

    Much love from us Down Under <3c

  92. On June 9th, 2010 at 8:59 pm ScienceGeek Says:

    I’m thinking of you, Mimi and the rest of your sausage factory. Thinking hard.
    She’ll find the words. And if she doesn’t, I know your little girl with the halo of curls will find another way to communicate. (Since she’s such an arse-kicker, probably by throwing stuff. If that happens, I promise I’ll send you the most awesome, bedazzled helmet you can imagine. It’ll sparkle like a Twilight Vampire in a solarium. I’ll recruit the ITGeek, so there’ll be LED lights and music and a big crown that says ‘Queen Aunt Becky’. This thing will cause seizures and stop traffic. There’ll be a picture of you wearing it under ‘Awesome’ in the dictionary).

    *hugs and love*

  93. On June 9th, 2010 at 9:10 pm Staciet Says:

    I am sending strength, love, and big hugs your way. Lots of them.

  94. On June 9th, 2010 at 9:18 pm A Vapid Blonde Says:

    You know…just when I thought this was going to be an ode to Dexter, you sideline me with this beautifully honest post.


  95. On June 9th, 2010 at 9:20 pm Becca Says:

    How old is she again?? My daughter had some issues at birth and she didn’t talk until she was 17 months old. I’m not trying to compare at all, just trying to give hope! πŸ™‚

  96. On June 9th, 2010 at 8:38 pm Kadye Says:

    I’ll keep you and Mimi and those beautiful words that will one day not stop coming out of her mouth in my thoughts.

  97. On June 9th, 2010 at 8:50 pm Vinomom Says:

    That post really touched me. It reminded me a little bit of Mr. Holland’s Opus. But as you’ve proven to us time and time again, Mimi is a Badass. One way or another, she WILL have words. I feel it.

  98. On June 9th, 2010 at 9:56 pm LindsayLu Says:

    Maybe Amelia needs to wait a bit because she’s composing some serious, profound, good words.


  99. On June 9th, 2010 at 10:04 pm Mommy on the Spot Says:

    First of all, I totally get what you meant on Twitter now. (Twitter wouldn’t let me respond to your direct message so check facebook. Stupid Twitter)!

    What you are doing takes guts, my friend. It’s easy to look the other way. You are doing the right thing by getting Early Intervention involved.

    I am sending you and Mimi positive thoughts. Remember she comes from some bad ass stock, so I feel confident that things are going to be just fine.

  100. On June 9th, 2010 at 10:15 pm Didactic Pirate Says:

    She may not have the words right now, but I have some for you: You’re clearly an amazing woman and an amazing mom, Becky. I’ll probably never meet you in person, but it’s been clear to me since I started reading your blog. This post in particular. I feel a sense of relief knowing that your daughter has you for a mother. So there.

  101. On June 9th, 2010 at 10:35 pm Carissa Says:

    Oh, Becky! After everything Mimi and you have been through, this breaks my heart. Here’s hoping all the others who said she’s just fucking with you are right. You have my number if you need to talk it through. Much love.

  102. On June 9th, 2010 at 10:38 pm mountainmomma18 Says:

    First- beautiful post- next I hope that it is something she just needs some work with- again I know kids who just didn’t feel like talking until they were over a year. And if it is something to worry about- well this is Mimi we’re talking about- she kicks ass and takes names- I’d like to see anything try to take her down!

  103. On June 9th, 2010 at 10:43 pm Dana Says:

    Amelia has words, they just haven’t made it to her lips yet. They will, and every day you will wake knowing you will do everything within your power to insure they make it to her lips!

  104. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:07 pm Jen Says:

    One way or another, she will have words. I hope and pray that she is just developing on her own timeline, but if there is more to it, bringing in help now is just the ticket. My thoughts are with you.

  105. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:17 pm Nitza19 Says:

    Just remember (and feel free to say so if you need external reminders): you are strong, you are knowledgeable, you are relentless, and you can do this. She is lucky to have a fighter for a mom, and a smartypants who knows what to watch for and when to call in the big guns. We’re behind you! πŸ™‚

  106. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:56 pm April Says:

    I would not worry too much. My daughter is one month younger than she is and she is not that vocal (other than grunt, yells, etc). She is also the 3rd child. As pp have stated, she may just be letting other do her talking. I have started trying to make her say things instead of screeching. It is not going to great, yet.
    Also, I have a heard that Einstein did not utter a word until he was 5! Thinks worked out pretty good for him!

  107. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:05 pm sarah Says:

    Hi Sweets! I’m so sorry to hear your naughty little angel isn’t talking yet. She’s only a year right? My daughter didn’t speak until she was older than two. She got by with grunts, ooooooooo’s, and screams. It was mostly because her brother talked for her. I guess that’s pretty common for a younger sib. Of course, my daughter wasn’t born with Mimi’s brain probs so it didn’t even occur to me to worry about it. She started talking, reluctantly and now she WON’T SHUT UP. I’m crossing my fingers and toes and sending lots of good vibes your way that your little sweetheart starts saying shockingly inappropriate things to you and yours. Love ya!

  108. On June 10th, 2010 at 12:44 am Casey Says:

    She’ll find the words, when she decides she wants to find them.

    In the mean time she has the best possible mom and dad to give her all the attention in the world, with all the specialists.

    I’m sure you’ll find something to help the beautiful Amelia.

  109. On June 9th, 2010 at 11:51 pm gorillabuns Says:

    Moira wouldn’t speak until 2+. she would just look and glare. and now? she won’t shut the fuck up! she’s odd in her speech as she has mastered the vocab unlike her 7 year old sister. her pre-k teacher says she’s like an old soul and i laugh because i couldn’t get a reaction until she was three and let us not forget her pooping issues. even now.

    i have faith in the little one that she’s going to be okay because believe it or not, i merry freaking sunshine!

    squishes! because i hate love and kisses.

  110. On June 10th, 2010 at 1:11 am Lippy Says:

    I am thinking of you, and sending you hugs and words. I would send chocolate but it is fucking hot, so it would melt.

  111. On June 10th, 2010 at 1:31 am April K. Says:

    Oh, my heart goes out to you and Mimi and everyone else in your family. We did the Early Intervention program with my daughter for 2 1/2 years and, while I’m not sure that we really “figured out” anything (aside from the fact that my daughter is, most assuredly, one of the most stubborn little girls on the planet and, by the way, is 6 now with no lingering issues from her younger years) they were able to provide A LOT of help in the form of resources and reassurances and what not. Please know that, while your individual path will definately be unique to you, many of us have walked the same dark road that, eventually anyway, ended in brightness. I know that I don’t “know” you, but if there is anything I can do for you, never hesitate to ask – you have a whole army of people standing with you. Sending all our good thoughts your way…

  112. On June 10th, 2010 at 12:56 am Megan (Best of Fates) Says:

    Wow, that must have been a really difficult realization to come to grips with. Good luck as you go forward and learn what needs to be done.

    You and your daughter are in my thoughts.

  113. On June 10th, 2010 at 3:14 am subWOW Says:

    Oh Becky, I have no words for this. {{{hugs}}} You know we are all thinking of you and your family and Amelia and sending you all the positive thoughts that we could muster after we stop crying. HOW do you stay so positive with your sense of humor intact? You are a strong woman, and thank goodness for that.

  114. On June 10th, 2010 at 10:55 am Jennifer Says:


  115. On June 10th, 2010 at 10:57 am mommymae Says:

    thinking of you all.

  116. On June 10th, 2010 at 10:57 am andy Says:

    She’s got a great mommy in her corner to get her all the help she needs!

    Go Becky Go!

  117. On June 10th, 2010 at 11:18 am Brains are so, so…. « Pocketlizard Says:

    […] I’m sure it’s nothing like the frustration of full-on apraxia, like Bubbles has, or Amelia might […]

  118. On June 10th, 2010 at 10:41 am lisa Says:

    You have no idea how alike our situations are. We learned not long after her first birthday, that our baby girl, Zoe, was nearly deaf. Her hearing was severe to profoundly impaired. She is 2 1/2 now, and she is struggling the same way. She is at an 18 month old’s speech level, while kicking ass in everything else- like motor skills, understanding, etc. We have a speech teacher for the deaf/HOH come out every Wednesday to work with her on speaking (and also signing) some words. She has made great progress, but I feel your pain. There is NOTHING in the world that hurts more than knowing something is wrong with your child… every day I yearn for my daughter to speak more than 2 words at a time. I see other kids her age carrying on conversations, singing songs, and my heart hurts for her. But you don’t need to be afraid or sad… just make it happen. Work with her constantly; make the calls to the people that can help, and don’t give up. Amelia is a special little girl who has already shown how strong she is. You can email me personally if you’d like to chat. πŸ™‚


  119. On June 10th, 2010 at 12:17 pm Tweets that mention More Than Words | Mommy Wants Vodka -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aunt Becky, Amy. Amy said: More Than Words – @mommywantsvodka Hugs to you! […]

  120. On June 10th, 2010 at 12:44 pm The Crazy Suburban Mom Says:

    How funny this is about words and how funny that you used a word I’d not seen used in I don’t know how long – jauntily – and I control V’d it because I’d used the identical word this morning…

    it must be some cosmic random good omen about words in general….


  121. On June 10th, 2010 at 1:19 pm toywithme Says:

    Amelia will find her words and use her voice because she has an amazing mother who will fight for her and never quit.

  122. On June 10th, 2010 at 1:22 pm Hearts Wide open Dad Says:

    “something wrong with her beautiful brain” and tho I read it over many times all I sense is ” differently- abled ” And even tho I havent followed your beautiful sharings for long, what is awesome is the ever-widening circle of people your powerful young daughter touches……simply by Being. Joyfully bring her the resources that will see her become even more magnificent then she already is …..but there ain’t no problem here ……..cept maybe one day my keyboard will short out from my tears that flow as Im swooned to that vibrant Stillness thru the privledge of sitting with you and her for a spell. You two are astonishing

  123. On June 10th, 2010 at 2:04 pm Yvonne Says:

    Becky, My prayers are with you. I know that the hardest thing I have ever done was feel helpless when a loved one needed something that I just didn’t. I wish you strength and courage, and hope that all this is more easily dealt with than you fear. I know that the not knowing the extent of the problem is scary but you will deal with it in your own kick-ass way. Thanks so much for trusting your pranksters enough to share this. Blessings to you all.

  124. On June 10th, 2010 at 2:29 pm Liam's Mom Says:

    Hang in there. You and your daughter have gotten through the past year and a half with her kicking every hurdle thrown her way in the ass. She will get the assistance she needs and you both will come through this stronger than ever. She is very, very lucky to have you for her Mom. πŸ™‚

  125. On June 10th, 2010 at 4:11 pm Kendra Says:

    What a frightening realization. She’s such a glorious little person, it breaks my heart to think that she’s going to have a single hard thing to overcome. But I hope that she and you both know how lucky she is to have such a family watching out for her. In your position, I might be scared to call the doctor, scared of what they might say, not getting help because I was too scared of the possibilities. I know you’ve have practice advocating for your son, but be proud of how hard you’re working to make sure that Amelia has the best life anyone could ever wish for her.

  126. On June 10th, 2010 at 6:21 pm Kori Says:


  127. On June 10th, 2010 at 6:38 pm Ann Says:

    Damn. I’m so sorry, Aunt Becky, that must be an incredibly nervewracking problem to tackle. But Mimi has two seriously awesome, kickass things going for her:
    1. She’s a fighter, and she’s won some pretty damn big battles already. She’ll overcome this too.
    2. She has YOU for a mama, and you pretty much totally kick ass just by, like, breathing.

    Hang in there. And keep us posted. I’ll be thinking of you both. xoxo

  128. On June 10th, 2010 at 9:14 pm statia Says:

    Oh Babe, I know from one mom to another, who has been there, in the trenches with a special needs kid, I know how hard it is to not worry about things, especially after all Mimi has been through. I never try to make light of a situation like this. She sounds like she’s very good comprehension wise, so that’s a very good thing.

    I’m hoping that she’s just being a mega ball buster.

  129. On June 10th, 2010 at 11:12 pm Yo-yo Mama Says:

    This is one of those examples where the old standby, “Oh, you just wait. She’ll be talking up a storm before you know it,” because there’s other circumstances that 99% of other mothers have never experienced.

    Out of curiosity, did you ever introduce her to any baby signing? Does she prefer that over talking? Just something I noticed with a friend’s baby who is close to Aitch’s age…

  130. On June 11th, 2010 at 12:45 am Julia Says:

    Lots of preople have suggested signing. But what about singing? People who have trouble talking can sometimes sing the same words with no problems. And what could it possibly hurt?

    Obviously you are going to see and do what the experts say. Please keep us posted.

  131. On June 11th, 2010 at 10:27 am magpie Says:

    Oh dear, I hope she finds those words soon.

    (My brother has a brain in a jar, on the bookshelves in his apartment. A real one. It’s probably illegal.)

    My mother thought I was retarded because I failed to speak. I was just waiting until I could speak in full paragraphs.

  132. On June 11th, 2010 at 4:05 pm Redneck Mommy Says:

    Bug had no words and Jumby has no words.

    I know this pain, this frustration.

    I’ve got big shoulders if you ever want to vent. xo

  133. On June 12th, 2010 at 11:29 am Simmering in the Brain Pan, 6/12/2010 « Anarchy Mommy Says:

    […] “More Than Words” from Mommy Wants Vodka. Because we are always behind Miss Mimi. […]

  134. On June 12th, 2010 at 7:03 pm Liz Says:

    I felt a bit of a punch in the gut when I read ‘no words’. It sucks, doesn’t it? I could send you humor – “Who wants a normal child? They’re so boring!”

    I am a Speech Language Pathologist, although I don’t practice anymore and let my license expire so I could focus on being Mommy to an autistic son. You are going to get so many opinions on what you must and must not do, and we’ll all disagree. I’m so glad Early Intervention can come back and do some evaluations. As you know, it could be anything at all, from normal delayed speech/late talker, to something… else. God, I got so sick of all the stories of, “my baby brother didn’t talk because we all talked for him” (as if I was a bad parent for allowing that to happen, besides, this was my eldest child), “Oh, my grandson never said a word until he was 3 years old, and now you can’t shut him up”. Dudes and Dudettes, that’s your experience. It sure as shootin’ wasn’t my son. I had to beg and plead with my supervisor to test my 3 year old son. I knew, in my heart, that he was autistic, but I was told by all my professional coworkers that I was just being a typical SLP-mommy, and he was probably just fine.

    Signing is good (it’s how I taught my son to talk, against, I must add, the wishes of his own SLP, my supervisor) Singing is good, although that requires words.

    The fact that she’s getting words, and then losing them, that’s what caught my eye. I want to reach out and hug you both for that one.

    Folks, language is such a complicated thing, and whether a child is verbalizing recognizable words or motioning, it all amounts to communication. Some kids need more help than others in learning how to communicate using meaningful language.

    I do know Mimi can kick ass, and so can my favorite Aunt Becky. Kick some asses into gear so she can get all the help right away.

  135. On June 14th, 2010 at 7:53 am Kelley @ Magnetoboldtoo Says:

    When I saw the title to this post I immediately thought of the book ‘More than words’ that I used to teach my Boo to speak.

    My boy that would have ‘no functional language’. My boy that they basically gave up on.

    But then I started to read thinking it was going to be the usual Becky hilarity and then I get to the end and my heart hurts.

    I am here for you my friend. For whatever, whenever.

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