Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Best Medicine

Okay, so I know Charles isn't stupid. My mom says he's just big. Poor kid's gonna have the nickname "Moose" before he's 5 years old.

It's just that, as a parent, I constantly look for reassurance that my kid is at least "normal." With all the scare-tactics about autism, learning disabilities, mental disorders, and the like out there, it would be reassuring if Charles were reaching milestones of growth and development like other children. He mostly is - especially the earlier ones, like rolling over and sitting up. He plays with toys the way a 9-month-old should. But he is off the charts on weight gain and overall size, he missed the crawling milestone, and he is behind in vocalization. Fine motor skills are not coming easily to him - that whole pincer grasp should have happened awhile ago, too.

Being attentive to such milestones is to walk a fine line between "too lax" and "alarmist." Yesterday, I got a bit alarmist. Most of the time, I try to be sensible about it all. But then, how horribly would I feel if I missed something, only to find out in a few months that he has fallen irretrievably behind in development?

Being the primary caregiver to a giant, demanding baby is tough. My back and shoulders hurt all the time, regardless of how many times I visit the chiropractor in a given month. I have lost a lot of my own identity. Remember how I mentioned that we can't have a night out because I can't pump enough milk for daycare and a date? Tony and I haven't been out without Charles since June. And when we did that, he drank so much milk that I was short for daycare the next day and they had to call me in to come feed him. I can see my body slipping away - goodbye, youthful sexiness! This is all very hard to take, so forgive me if I go off the edge every once in awhile.

But let me reassure you that I love him, I delight in him, I would not trade him for the world. Especially when he takes a regular nap and I get a chance to swipe on some mascara, put my hair back, do the dishes, and have a little bit of alone time. By the way, does anyone know a good housekeeper in the Mount Vernon area? I fear my looks are not the only thing that has suffered in the advent of child-wrangling around here.


Tony said...

I keep reminding Amelia that I only recently began to depart my adolescence, about which I am constantly surprised. So, Charlie being behind in these "average" goals doesn't bother me. We Cook boys have always been off the charts...some good, some bad.

K Schimmy said...

You sound better today. This is good.

What milestone charts are you consulting? I'm pretty sure the Pincer grasp isn't something to worry about until they're a year old. Give him time. You have a very bright boy, there is not a doubt there. Remember from your child psych class, according to Howard Gardner, there are many types of intelligences that our children will excel at, so watch for what Charles does well. You will see it. He is perhaps Mr. Interpersonal!

There is no way that kid can come from you two and not have brains.

K Schimmy said...

Okay, I just found my headphones and watched the video. HILARIOUS. Humor is also a marker of intelligence, incidentally!

A side note: my word verification says "burlehos". I'm taking offense.

Mom and Dad said...

Okay that giggle was priceless. Did you get the boy communication there? Would a girl laugh at fart sounds? Hardly. Looks like his father and Charles are on the same wavelength. Oh boy.....

Amelia said...

I laugh at fart sounds!

K Schimmy said...

Me too! I'm sorry, but farts are good comedy.

Sarah said...

Glad to hear that you're feeling better. Charles seems like a perfectly happy, healthy little guy. You're a great mom with a great kid!

Lo said...

That video is priceless. I too love fart sounds and my little girl will too.

Amelia-Although I have not had my child yet, I can understand where you are coming from. You want your child to develop and be the best at everything. I am sure he is making strides in every way.
Find yourself a housekeeper and keep on putting that mascara on. You can do it.

chasecarole said...

All kids are different and all reach developmental milestones in their own time.

I remember freaking out because Michael didn't sit up independently until he was a good 9 or 10 months old; he was crawling before he could sit up. And his constant refusal to eat and his thinness continue to worry me to no end.

I have noticed that Jenna is hitting milestones much, much, earlier than Michael did. Boys develop slower; it's a fact. We always knew they were behind us, didn't we girls?

We worry about our kids because we love them; it's natural. But I honestly think you have nothing to worry about. Charles will meet his milestones on his own timeline.

On the milk thing, check with your healthcare provider and see if you can start supplementing Charles with cow's milk. It's a little early, but given his size he can probably tolerate it fine.

By the by... To get Charles to start perfecting his pincer grasp, try handing him a Cheerio or Gerber Puff, rather than trying to get him to pick it up off a flat surface (much harder to do). This is advice from my mom-in-law, who knows just about everything there is to know when it comes to child development.