Today I went to a November mums meet up.Its a chance for all the mums who gave birth in November last to come along with their babies and get to know each other.Its facilitated for the first few weeks by the local public health nurse.
I had the chance to go to a March mums meet up with Mini almost 3 years ago but I chose not to go.At the time I couldn’t face meeting all these mums with their perfect babies and me with,what I thought at the time was my “defective” one.How I wish I could turn back time and proudly show Mini off like I did her sister this morning.It could have been a chance to educate people who may not have known much about the subject on Down syndrome and also perhaps it would have been the first place for Mini to make friends.
Instead to my eternal shame,I hid my daughter away,lacking the strength I now have to share my amazing little girl with the world.
I was reminded though why going to one of those meetings would have been a bridge too far for me to travel weeks after Minis diagnosis was confirmed by one of the mums talking about her 16month old and how he wasn’t walking yet. She was at pains to point out that he has loads of words and has been cruising for months but no solo steps as of yet.
I always think it’s both funny and incredibly frustrating the way parents get freaked out if their child isn’t performing the same way a textbook case would.How many textbook children do you know of?Yet there we are anxiously checking up on the calendar of milestones all children simply must adhere to!
Obviously there are kids with developmental delays but for the vast majority a few months waiting for the first steps or words are nothing to be concerned about as shocker-here’s the crazy thing,kids will walk.And talk.They will get there.Why are we in such a hurry for them to grow up?Why can’t we enjoy them for the wonder they are today,without worrying about the future?
I nodded along to the young mum’s perceived tales of woe inwardly thinking how glad I was that I don’t bother with such worries-I learned long ago that Mini moves at her own pace,no one else’s when out of the corner of my eye I spotted one of the other babies recently liberated from his car seat.His mum had introduced him as being 7 weeks old today,only two days older than Mini Mini and yet there he was holding his head up all by himself!
After the meeting I arrived home and announced loudly to the Frenchman that we needed to strictly enforce more tummy time for Mini Mini as she should be holding her head up as solidly as her almost birthday cousin.She hasn’t gotten that much tummy time as to be honest,she hates it. He nodded away in much the same way I did at the young mum’s tale and suddenly I realised how silly I sounded.
So what have I learned after nearly 3 years of parenting?It seems like not very much!Kids sit up,roll over,walk and talk when they are good and ready.They are on their own schedule,not their mum’s,dad’s,public health nurse or parenting “manual”. It’s an odd quirk of humanity that we have to instantly compare ourselves to our neighbours and likewise our kids as extensions of us must also bare the brunt of unfair comparison.
And it seems despite my best efforts,that I am guilty of this facet of perhaps a little bit more than others.Silly mummy!