Twinning: My Twins Took Forever To Start Talking & Then Called Everything ‘Cat’
Having twins can be the most amazing experience of your life. It can also cause you to wake up in the morning wishing you were someone else. Twinning offers an honest depiction of life with twins from a mom who tries to keep things somewhere in the middle.
When my daughter Allie said â€œMamaâ€ at only seven months old, I was probably the proudest mom on the planet. Seven months old! She was obviously a genius. And she didnâ€™t just say it onceâ€”she said it over and over for about an hour, long enough for me to videotape it so I could prove to all my relatives that I had one of the smartest babies in the world.
Then Allie didnâ€™t say â€œMamaâ€ or anything else for months. Both my twins didnâ€™t really start speaking until they were two years old. When they did talk before that, all they basically said was â€œcatâ€ and we didnâ€™t even have a cat.
By the time they were 10 months old, both Allie and Nick were babbling â€œmamamaâ€ and â€œdadadaâ€ but still not saying words with meaning. My mom thought it was helpful to point out repeatedly that I started talking at nine months, but I wasnâ€™t worried. Iâ€™d read and heard from many twin-mom friends that twins start talking later than singleton babies and sometimes only speak in a language the two of them understand. I was okay with waiting.
When he was a year old, Nick learned how to whine â€œMomâ€â€”heâ€™d really drag it out and pronounce it a little like the character Cartman in “South Parkâ€ does: â€œMaaaam.â€ For a few weeks, it was the first thing heâ€™d say when he woke up, and it was the first thing Iâ€™d hear on the monitor in the morning. I have to admit that I didnâ€™t mind waking up to itâ€”when your kids arenâ€™t talking, you take what you can get.
Then when he was 14 months old, Nick replaced â€œMaaaamâ€ with â€œcatâ€ and he would say it all day long. Any animal heâ€™d see was a cat. After a few days of listening to his cat-centric talk, Allie figured it was a good idea and joined him in calling everything a cat. Weâ€™d be outside and see someone walking their dog, and they would yell â€œCAT!â€ Iâ€™d show them flashcards that had pictures of keys, a ball, a baby, a cat, and for every one, Nick would say â€œcat.â€ Naturally during the first few weeks of this cat-talk, I would correct them, saying â€œThatâ€™s a doggy!â€ or â€œThatâ€™s a ball!â€ but every time I did, they would just shout me down with â€œcat!â€