Jakob doesn’t say much. He is not like his dad. His pediatrician suggested we have him checked just to make sure there were no looming issues causing his delayed speech, which was a nice way to make us worry over nothing for two months while we waited for him to be seen. Turns out he is very smart, just as we suspected, and he just doesn’t talk, because he doesn’t want to and doesn’t need to. All that being said, he just doesn’t have the expansive vocabulary of some kids his age.
One thing we’ve been dying for him to say is, “I love you.” He’s known it was a good phrase since he was just a little baby. I have a picture of him in my office – taken by Sunshine & Daisies Photography – with him smiling in response to my saying, “I love you,” to him. He wouldn’t smile for the photographer, so I leaned over him, made eye contact, and I told him that I loved him. His face lit up. He didn’t know what it meant, but he knew it was a positive phrase he had heard 100 times a day for the two and a half months he’d been around. We figured that we had said it so much that it would have been one of his very first things to say. It wasn’t.
On Tuesday, I asked Jakob who my buddy was. He pointed to himself. I asked him who his buddy was. He pointed to me and said, “buddy!” Then he kept saying buddy over and over. This is a common “game” we play. I thought maybe he was in a talkative mood, so I would try to teach him to say, “love.” It was better than nothing. So I asked him, “Jakob, who does Daddy love?” He said, “Mommy!” What a smart boy. I agreed that I did love his mommy, but then I asked again, “But who else does Daddy love?” He pointed at himself and said, “love!” I asked him who he loved, and he pointed at me, touching my chest with his finger, and he yelled, “love!” It was his first “I love you,” but it is something that has been repeated non-stop all week by Sarah and me.