Delusions of Grandeur

Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ Category

“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments” -Rose Kennedy

Every parent celebrates those major milestones when their child takes their first steps, babbles their first words, eats their first mushy bite of oatmeal.  I’ve not yet found a satisfactory description of the feeling of pride and joy that fills your heart when you see that miniature person grasp an activity or concept that is something you probably take for granted every other minute of the day.  As a parent of a child with fragile x I find that not only do I celebrate the big deal milestones, but that frequently things I’ve never even considered milestones or even really thought of at all take on tremendous importance.  Things like communicating a desire or request, the basic building block of communication, become just as big of a deal as walking when they’re things that your child has to work so hard to grasp.

It’s shortly after Elijah’s second birthday and communication is a hurdle we are still figuring our way around.  He’s just recently begun to request things like being picked up (by standing in front of us with his arms raised in that classic childhood pose which is so amazingly cute that you can’t help but feel your heart melt) and he’s also started bringing me his favorite story so I can read it to him.  It’s so amazing to have him doing these that even by the seventh time through Brown Bear Brown Bear I’m still happy to be reading it to him and read it with the exact same amount of enthusiasm as the first time through.

He’s also started babbling with a few more sounds these past few weeks.  I’m trying not to read too much into it as he’s done this in the past and then regressed for months at a time, but there’s always the hope that maybe this time he’ll continue to make gains in communication.  I suppose the overall theme of our days is that there is always hope, but in the meantime, rather than focusing on the milestone, we’re enjoying the moments 🙂

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Many of us grew up hearing the nursery rhyme that began with “Monday’s child is fair of face.”  Something that has always bothered me, even before I had a child born on Wednesday, is the “Wednesday’s child is full of woe” line.  I actually recently read a bit of history about the rhyme that mentioned that originally it was Friday’s child that was woeful and Wednesday’s child that was loving and giving.  Guess that goes to show that it doesn’t matter what day of the week you’re born on and that it’s all superstitious nonsense.  Yet, somehow it’s that nonsense that seems to stick in my mind any time I hear bad news about Elijah.

A bit of background for those of you who still aren’t aware of this story, back in October Elijah was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Fragile X Syndrome.  Before the geneticist mentioned testing for it, I had never heard of it.  I won’t go into all the details on my reaction right now, I actually have a solid four months worth of blog posts surrounding that issue saved in OneNote, I just wasn’t ready to begin talking about it before now, so I’m sure they will eventually make their way on to here in some shape or form.   But for now it’s enough to know that Fragile X isn’t a physically debilitating disorder, it doesn’t typically cause any major health problems (with a few exceptions, but those aren’t that prevalent) and it is definitely not the worst thing out there.  That being said, it does cause some major intellectual disabilities, particularly in males, and has a high association with autism.

Elijah is definitely showing the developmental delays one would expect for someone with his diagnosis, although so far they have ruled out the autism spectrum disorders, for which we continue to be grateful.  Actually, in this way he’s much more of the “loving and giving” type than “full of woe.”  He’s actually one of the happiest kids I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and he’s so loving that he needs at least 30 minutes of hugging, kissing and cuddling when I get home from work or pick him up from school.  It’s adorable how attached he is to both of his parents and immensely reassuring.  Every time I walk in the door and see the huge smile he has for me with his arms open for a hug my heart sings and I know that despite all the other worries, this, at least, is right.

Here’s your laugh for the day via one of those emails that continually make the rounds 🙂

11 step program for those thinking of having kids:

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.

2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.

3. Go home.

4. Pick up the paper.

5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their…

1. Methods of discipline.

2. Lack of patience.

3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.

4. Allowing their children to run wild.

5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel…

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)

2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.

3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.

4. Set the alarm for 3AM.

5. As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.

6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.

7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.

8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.

9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out…

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.

2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.

3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.

4. Then rub them on the clean walls.

5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.

6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.

2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this – all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don’t think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don’t look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.

Leave it there.

2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.

3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.

4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week’s groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.

2. Make a small hole in the side.

3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.

4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.

5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.

6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you’re thinking What’s ‘Noggin’?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying ‘mommy’ repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each ‘mommy’; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the ‘mommy’ tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say ‘it’s all worth it!’ Share it with your friends, both those who do and don’t have kids. I guarantee they’ll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you’ll need when you become a parent!

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Now back to me 🙂  Whoever thought this one up is entirely right, it IS totally worth it, but if you don’t approach this whole adventure with a sense of humor whatever sanity you started out with will probably abandon you within the first month.  Not that insanity is a bad thing, per se, just that people without a sense of humor seem to have a difficult time dealing with a lack of sanity so it could cause some problems 😉

I am one of those people who needs an inordinate amount of sleep….we’re talking to the tune of 13 hours a night.  Honestly, that’s how much sleep I need to feel content and happy.  I love sleep.  I love to take naps, I love to sleep in on rainy days, I love falling back asleep after my husband leaves for work, there is absolutely nothing I love more than running the a/c full blast and curling up under my warm cozy covers on my soft fluffy bed and snoozing away the morning.  It should come as no surprise then that I absolutely hate anything that interferes with sleeping.  I honestly routinely wish for equipment failures for the people next store who have been working on constructing a new condominium for what feels like a million years just so they can’t wake me up at ungodly hours with their annoying bulldozers and other loud noises. 

What is absolutely amazing to me is the fact that my son, who wakes me up at all hours of the night and is a routine impediment to sleep, engenders absolutely no resentment from me.  I love my husband, honestly more than I ever thought I could ever love anybody, and yet if he were to wake me up even half as much as my son does I honestly think I would have to contemplate homicide.  How strange is it, then, that when I am dragged from the arms of sleep by the cries of my son I am filled with love and a sense of wonder instead of anger or resentment?  Can hormones truly be that powerful?  I am continually amazed by the incredibly powerful changes that this bond has brought about in me.  If anybody had ever told me that anybody or anything could come between me and sleep and not only would I not hate that person, but would actually love them beyond my own ability to comprehend I would have laughed hysterically…and yet that seems to be exactly what has happened.


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