If any of my readers have been pregnant before, you know that pregnancy tends to make you.. well.. a little dumb. So, I apologize for my long gaps between posts during this pregnancy. I am too busy trying to remember why I walked into the next room and figuring out how I am going to get my shoes tied.
I feel as though I have come a long way as a parent of a boy with special needs. However, I still have my weak moments, and I wanted to talk about one of them today. I tend to forget Nicholas has Down Syndrome. His is my “normal”, and I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about Down Syndrome outside of blogging or fund-raising. However, I was recently reminded.
I am at that lucky age where all of my friends are either new parents, pregnant, or trying to get pregnant. So, we are able to have these extra reasons to bond and connect.
One of my closest friends sent me a video of her sweet baby girl, who is about ten months younger than Nicholas, using sign language to say that she wants more food.
I immediately broke down sobbing.
What the? Why am I crying? What is happening here?
I was on the floor playing with Nicholas at the time, who was looking at me like “why is there a bunch of water on your face you weirdo?”
I have had to do a lot of thinking about this reaction, because it seems awful. Am I not happy for her? Proud of her? What the hell is my problem?
I think it was just a shock to my system. It was a glaring reminder that other kids are just going to have it way easier than Nicholas. Nicholas has been working on sign language for months, with the help of therapists and daily practice with his dad and I. He is not able to use it. I think that seeing a little girl way younger than him master it so fast just have a me a harsh reminder. Nicholas just won’t learn things as fast. That’s just how it’s going to go.
Do I care how fast he succeeds? Of course not. He is the person in my life who taught me to slow down and enjoy every little success in life. However, I think I just had a selfish moment of thinking that it’s not fair that other kids are just going to have it easy in some ways and Nicholas isn’t. No parent wants to think that her kid can’t have the same things other kids can.
Side note, you should see this girl crushing her milestones. She is so smart already. I haven’t had an experience with a younger kid surpassing Nicholas in development until that moment. Which made me immediately think about someone else.
His future baby sister.
This is going to be happening right in our home soon. She is going to learn things faster than him, and I do not know how I am going to react now. I am so thankful for this learning experience, because I feel a lot more prepared. This is something I have to look out for.
I am going to raise my kids to be so happy for one another, no matter what they are succeeding at. I am excited to have another person joining our family to help us cheer Nicholas on.
I am also mentally preparing myself for when Nicholas might notice these things. He may ask me why other kids can do things that he can’t do. I have been able now to think of responses to this. Being a parent is such a whirlwind, so any mental preparation helps!
I know there are a lot of people who have “two under two”, but for a kiddo with Down Syndrome who develops at a slower rate, it is a little different. My oldest will seem younger longer. I am in for it, and I can’t wait to share all of the highs and lows of the experience. Luckily, Nicholas is a really laid-back kiddo who rolls with the punches, so that helps.
Alright, time to brag.
On a positive note, Nicholas has been succeeding at a much faster pace lately. He is SO CLOSE to a four-point crawl, and is starting to self feed! He knows how to bring a spoon to his mouth and put it back in the bowl, thanks to his dad and speech therapist. He is standing for longer periods of time, and is just learning things way faster than before. He can even sit up without help! When he was born, he wasn’t even able to make a fist or squeeze my finger, so all of this is so awesome. Thank you to his four therapists for being amazing and planning your sessions to be perfect for Nicholas!
I am not posting this story for a pity party. So, I hope your comments do not include “I am so sorry.” My son has a kickass life, and is doing so well.
I am posting this because I started this blog to be unapologetically honest with other parents. This journey comes with bumps in the road, as does any journey. I want to make sure that I am sharing every single bump with you all.
One thing that I hope does NOT come of this post is my friends being afraid to send me awesome milestone videos of their kids. I love all of you, and I love your children. Please do not stop sharing these awesome things with me. Being exposed to all of these therapy sessions have made me extra-interested in development, so I love seeing all of this awesome stuff.
Parents of kids with special needs, have you have similar moments similar to this one? Please share! I am telling you, it helps.
Now excuse me, I need to go eat lunch for the third time.