Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Being a mother to a special needs child is not easy. And, as with any child, it can be just as full of moments of frustration as it is laden with joyful pride. Over the past few months, Jack has given us little reason to worry about his development. In fact, he often leaves some new people who meet him wondering if he has Down Syndrome at all. Jack is taking solid foods well (except for some veggies :), sitting up completely independently, playing with cause and effect toys, exchanging toys from one hand to another, showing preference for some toys over others, showing understanding of reciprocal play and object permanence, effectively communicating with us both vocally and through facial expression, and well ... he's just being his cute and adorable social self. He's been right on track (with even "typical" children) in terms of his development thus far ... well, almost. All that said, I have a confession to make ...

I'm getting really frustrated over the whole crawling (or lack thereof) thing. I just can't help it. When on his tummy, Jack will push himself all the way up so his arms are completely extended, and then he kicks his feet like he wants to move. We tuck his knees underneath him so that he's in crawling position, and he'll hold this position for a few seconds, sometimes even rock back and forth a little, but ... still no crawling. It's been like this for nearly two months now. Sometimes I feel like Jack will have a developmental "spurt" where he'll do a bunch of new things one week, and then just stay on that plateau for a couple months. Well, we're currently hangin' out on that plateau. (Not that we're not having fun on the plateau, but still ...) I guess this pattern is normal for any developing baby, and I usually can convince myself not to worry about it and tell myself that he WILL crawl ... when he's ready. But for some reason, this past week I have found myself more stressed over these things that I know in my heart are very minor in the grand scheme. I guess I'm just now, after nearly nine months, starting to see ... (dare I say it?) delays. I think it just feels so difficult because we work SO HARD every week on crawling, but it's still not happening yet. The only metaphor that comes to mind to describe my frustration is like studying relentlessly for an exam, certain you'll get an "A," only to receive a poor score in the end. ARGH!

I know what many of you are thinking: "Calm down, Jack will crawl when he's ready," or "Some children don't crawl at all, you know. Some just take off walking," or "Stop worrying. My child didn't crawl until he was a year old!" Thanks, everyone. All these comments are helpful indeed, but it's still tough. Helpful also are the comments of affirmation I get from the professionals in our life, like Jack's Physical Therapist Carrie and his new Developmental Therapist Annette. During every PT session, Carrie tells us that Jack is doing great and to just keep doing what we're doing. And, just today Annette told me that she wished she could clone me and take me to all her clients' homes so their parents would be as dedicated to their developmental success as I am to Jack's. (Thank you, Annette, for the much needed spirit boost today! It really meant a lot!)
"Little by little, one travels far." -JRR Tolkien
All these things help reaffirm the truth to me ... our little Jack IS doing very well, and WILL eventually crawl ... in his own time. Until then, I have many other things to be grateful for ... all the while I've been worrying (over nothing), Jack IS doing new things all the time, giving me the ultimate affirmation that everything is A-OKAY.
For instance:

Learning to hold his own "ba-ba"
Rockin' out on the drum (I swear, he's going to be a musician!)

Signing "more" (I think, or clapping ... either way :)

Trying to stand holding onto something (with much help, but still great nonetheless)
And then, there's also just those sweet little fleeting affirmations that keep my heart going:

Splish splash!

Sweet baby face

"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different."
(Co Co Chanel)

Blowing razzberries, yet again.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there. We had a set back with infantile spasm seizures when cami was 9 months old and lost any progress for the next 5 months or so. Cami is 22 months old and just started crawling. She'll stand and sit like a trooper and will take half steps, but as for crawling, she could care less. It is hard not to get frustrated, and those of us a little further in the journey have all been there. He is making gains elsewhere it looks like and every inchstone counts ;)