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.