being THAT mom

It’s Recruit day in Sluiter Nation!  Don’t know what a SLuiter Nation Recruit is?  Start here.

Today I am SO excited to have Cheryl from Mommy Pants here!

Cheryl’s was always a blog I stalked in silence because I was in awe of her fabulous writing.  I love her no-nonsense personality that comes out in her writing, which is probably why her sweet, soft posts mush my  heart so.

I am totally honored that I am not just a silent stalker anymore, but one of her partner’s a The Red Dress Club…and a friend.


I am so excited to be over here at Sluiter Nation today. Katie, as you all know, is also one of the uber-talented hosts of The Red Dress Club. And anyone who spends even a nanosecond reading her blog(s) knows how freaking talented she is.

So thanks, Katie!


“What? What? Did you say “Mommy”? David, did you hear that?”

“No. I didn’t hear anything.”

“He said it. He did!”

“Da-dee, Da-dee.”

“Did you hear THAT?”

There was no mistaking it.

At two years and two months, my baby boy, my sweet, adorable, feisty, severely speech-delayed baby boy finally said Daddy. And Mommy, too – I heard it!

You absolutely celebrate these small milestones when your child has speech delay.

He has said Dada for a long time. But he only started saying Mama within the past six months; he just screamed when he wanted me.

Getting the “ee” as a second syllable was not happening. Poopy is “poopoo.” Cookie, until the other day, was “coo-coo.” It seems like a pretty easy thing, doesn’t it, changing sounds. And yet, for those kids who struggle putting those sounds into words, it’s a big deal.

A really big deal.

Getting speech therapy in The OC (otherwise known as Orange County, and yes, I’m a real housewife there, minus the “enhancements”) involves a lot of frustrating red tape. It took us four months from his evaluation to get him into therapy.

He’s gone an hour a week for the past six weeks.

And I can see it all start to happen for him.

This week we’ve had “airplane” instead of “ahcog.” “Truck” instead of “Guck guck.” We’ve had three and even four-word sentences – “Mama no milk, Daddy” – when I told him he couldn’t have any.

Six weeks ago, we’d have had tears. Now we have a boy who wants to narrate everything that happens in that uniquely toddler way, where no thought or activity goes unsaid.

I’ve had mothers ask why I have him in therapy when he’s “so young.” It makes me angry. Because, honestly? I don’t want to hear about how so-and-so didn’t speak til s/he was three and then it was in complete sentences, so why was I bothering?

I’m THAT mom. The one who does everything possible to help a child who has become frustrated and is throwing more tantrums and, in the case of my formerly speech-delayed daughter, became socially withdrawn.

I’m THAT mom.

I’m also that Mommy.

I swear, I heard him say it. I so did.


What lengths would you go to in order to ease your child’s frustration?

Want more Mommy Pants?  Yeah you do…

You can follow Cheryl on twitter, but you NEED to read her blog.  Here is just a sampling:

She will melt your heart the way she talks about her children: My son is my son

She can paint a picture that will tug at every emotion you have…and some you didn’t know you had: A million tiny sparkles of light

She has a FIERCE momma bear inside her:  of spider man, bullies, and a lesson learned

She is honest about turning 40 (but still rocks it, by the way): the truth about 40

And she writes fiction so real, you breath a sigh of relief at the end when you realize it was just a made-up story: what was broken

What are you waiting for?  Go get yourself some Mommy Pants!

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Thank you SO much, Katie, for your kind words and for letting me hang out here today! xo

  2. Kudos to you for being THAT mom(my)! And I’m so excited for you that X is talking up a storm! Early intervention works & can beso rewarding!

  3. I was THAT mom too, when my 2 yr old said MAYBE 4 words, and we fought daily to try to figure out what it was he wanted, the doc telling me he was probably autistic, my mind wild, I wanted to slap the next person who said to me “Einstein didn’t talk until he was almost 4” I don’t care!!! This is MY child, and he’s not Einstein….he’s Christopher and I want to hear his sweet voice! And after just a couple of times with the speech therapist, I did! And now, he’s 2 years and 8 months, and we actually have conversations!!!

    I am so happy for you guys, And I am so happy he got the speech therapy he needs! I am shedding tears of joy for you! And there is NO doubt he said Mommy!

  4. I totally get this. Scooby is in speech therapy too, and I tell ya, I CRIED the first time he said “I love you” even if it was still a little warped. I’ll take it thank you! YAY YAY YAY for X!! Woot Woot!! It really is huge.

  5. Cheryl, I’m so happy foe you and your boy and your whole family it must feel like the sun just came out.

    How far would *I* go? Really, really damn far. If there is a solution or a treatment available that has a pretty good chance of success, my kid will have that treatment. Bring on the hoops of fire.

    Kudos to you for doing what you had to do to get your son what he needed!

  6. Gah. Excuse my typos and poor punctuation. I’m not so good at commenting from the phone.

  7. You have to be that mommy! Speech delays are so often easily fixed at best. At worst, they could be a tip of an iceberg of some very serious issues. Either way, addressing the problem earlier is much better than waiting!

    I’m glad X is responding so well to the speech therapy! Yay!

    • Yep, I didn’t see any benefit to waiting. Mommy knows when something’s wrong! We are very fortunate his cognitive skills and receptive speech are just fine.

  8. Good for you, and freaking FANTASTIC for X.

    Though now that you’ve got him talking, you may want to practice your selective hearing, just in case it’s gotten rusty since the last two.

    Man, can a toddler talk.

  9. You are so amazing at THAT mommy. Good for you! So happy for X!

  10. She is in my reader, my Twitter stream and my Facebook, I don’t miss out on Mommypants.
    You either for that matter Mz Katie – both fab writers – both!
    (consider me a stalker!)

  11. Cheryl is awesome. Love her!

    As for speech therapy for kids – why not? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting the best for your children. My cousin’s daughter went at around 2 1/2 and it was the best thing they did. No one has a right to tell a mother what’s right for her child. Good on you Cheryl.

  12. I love MOMMYPANTS, Cheryl is one of the reasons I keep writing (and you Katie are the other one !!!)

    I believe being a mom is exactly like this post, seeing something and knowing that you have to address it, that “MOM GUT INSTINCT” that you get with the stuff you give you to take home from the hospital. You just know when to be “That mom”.

    I have no guilt, shame or adversion to being her….My children are the best thing I’ve ever done, and I shall care for them like they are the precious gift they are.

    You’re amazing Cheryl!!!!!

  13. You have to do what needs to be done for your family! So anyone that tells you otherwise is just nuts!

    How wonderful to hear mommy!!!

  14. Cheryl, I am so very, truly, overjoyed for you. xoxo

  15. I can’t imagine how beautiful those words were. Amazing.

  16. Being “that” Mommy is something we should all (aspire to) be! I am so happy that X is responding so well to therapy and beginning to speak more.

    I am considering having D evaluated if his speech doesn’t improve by 18-20 months. It’s tough for me to judge, b/c A was super verbal, and it is difficult for me to tell if there is actually a problem or just one in my head 🙁

  17. Cheryl, that is wonderful news!

    I’ve known kids who took forever to talk, but it never seemed to bother them that they weren’t vocal. If it was my child and they ere obviously frustrated that they couldn’t verbalize their thoughts, I would seek outside help as well. I’m glad you did and it turned out well.

  18. How far would I go? All the way to Hell and back if that’s what it took.

    He SO said “Mommy.” He did.

  19. You were right to get him into therapy young, and those that question it don’t understand. And look where it’s gotten you! He’s talking!!

    So very happy for all of you.

  20. Hooray for THAT mom!

    And you, my friend, need no enhancing at all (this is not a crack about your boobs, by the way. just a statement of your inherent fabulosity).

    Katie, I love your Sluiter Nation recruit. And you.

    Smiles all around…

  21. You know how I feel about this and my history with my two (very different) late talking boys.

    The week Ethan had his language explosion at 2 and a half, after 9 months of speech therapy, was one of the most joyful in my life. FINALLY “cookie” instead of “coo-ie” and “crayon” instead of “coh-oh” It’s off to the language races now, from here on out. And I am certain that one day you will be like me, asking your “high verbal” son to please just shut up for a minute (said in a much nicer way of course) so you can hear yourself think.

    • You can imagine how my ears are now, since Sawyer was off the charts verbal and Sage made up for lost time. I’m just glad when X is shouting at me and demanding validation, that now I actually have a shot of understanding him!

  22. This is a great feature, Katie – not to mention Talking? Now like sentences? Rock On, X! Congrats.

  23. Amy Westerlund says

    Cheryl, you know we have known each other a long time now … and you also know I am also THAT mother. My girls started speech therapy just after age two after me starting to bother the doctor at 15 months of age. They are 5 3/4 now and Alyssa is still getting assistance and Madison has been finished for a few years now. I got the same reactions from friends and strangers about starting therapy so young, but I know I did the right thing and I would do it again and push even harder than I did earlier if I had it to do over. Kuddos to you Cheryl and congrats to X on his explosion … may it continue to be music to your ears. ((Hugs))

    • Thanks so much for coming over here, Amy! I didn’t realize Alyssa was still in. You are SO that mom. You waited so long for your babies I know you’d move heaven and earth for them! xo

  24. I say the earlier the better! So glad it’s working for him “Mommy”!! 😀

  25. So, so great, Cheryl! I think people who say “Wait it out” have to understand that no one knows a child like his or her mama. Way to follow your gut, and yay that you have so much to show for it!

  26. I am THAT mom, too. And I remember when our daughter first said Mommy versus Mama. She worked in speech therapy for weeks on that. I know this struggle, and I know how much you celebrate every tiny victory. Because it’s not tiny. It’s HUGE! Woohoo for X!

  27. Well said. I have a speech delayed little boy too and therapy is where it’s at! When my little guy said Mommy for the first time I nearly fell over….of course prior to that he said Daddy and doggy but I loved it when he finally said mommy best of all!

  28. Congratulations!
    My son was speech delayed and I have certain memories that feel like 3D photos of when I recall the huge shifts. Like the evening he had the ear tube/adenoid surgery when he froze at being able to hear my voice clearly for the 1st time in almost 3 years from across the room. And when he sang for the 1st time not long after.
    Amazing stuff totally worthy of tears & bragging!

  29. I am so happy for you Cheryl. That would have made my heart explode into a bazillion unicorns and rainbows. That is just fantastic!!

  30. That is exactly what happened. Exactly!!

  31. Love this, you know.

    Love love love love.


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