I watched Toy Story 3 the other day and had such a wonderful time. Those guys are amazing storytellers. I laughed and cried and thought about Miles throughout the movie. I look forward to the day when Miles is walking, talking and playing with his toys, making up imaginary worlds for them. I can’t wait to bring him to one of these movies and to watch them at home. It will be so fun to see the joy in his face and hear his laughter as he roots along for his favorite characters; once he can get the jokes and understands what’s going on in the story.
But…will that ever happen?
I have to believe it will.
Still, I have my doubts.
Miles is already a joker. He’s got a sense of humor and he likes to mess with us. He’s also a talker. He can babble on for hours to himself and to us when he tries to communicate. And it isn’t all babble. He does say “mama” and “dada”. And although I think he knows who mama and dada are, he also uses those words to refer to other things, like his toys or food or “no more” or “leave me alone!”
He’s got quite a personality already. And according to his Occupational Therapist, he is doing very well. As she put it, “his motor skills might be lagging but cognitively, he is very aware. We can help his motor skills catch up, but we wouldn’t be able to do much about his cognition.”
So I have faith that he will be able to understand the jokes and get what’s going on when he watches a movie. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel completely hopeless at times.
In fact, last week I was feeling really down about it. It seemed to me that Miles hadn’t made any real forward movement in a while and it was depressing me. I couldn’t see any of the positive things he’d done, just the fact that he still isn’t crawling. Or that he can’t go from his belly to sitting or that he makes no effort to pull himself up on furniture. You know, the things that most kids his age are doing. He still won’t hold a bottle by himself. He still doesn’t have enough control over his fingers to take small objects, like a cheerio, and feed himself.
Then we had a feeding session with his O.T. where I basically felt like everything I’d been doing with him was wrong. I should be feeding him more solid foods so he can work out his tongue more. I don’t need to worry yet about him feeding himself, but about making sure his tongue gets stronger. I have to use special cups and spoons and stabilize him more when he’s sitting on his high chair and bla bla bla!!!
I feel guilty when I’m not working him out constantly: whether it be practicing his balance, his feeding, strengthening his lower body, stimulating him with music, rhymes, and other games. I mean, it’s freaking overwhelming at times and last week it was too much. Meanwhile I couldn’t help but look at photos and videos of friends’ babies reaching these milestones so effortlessly. As happy as I am for them, it just kept reminding me of what I don’t have….which is now really just an idea, a dream almost.
What I have is Miles. Mr. Smiles. The happiest, funniest and cutest baby I know. The warmest, sweetest and most honest little being around. I am more dedicated to him than I’ve been to anything else in my life and it’s not without its rewards! Miles is the best reward of them all. I really just need to have patience and allow him to reach his potential on his own time. And it’s not that hard to do since he makes everything more fun to experience. But being the human that I am, makes it impossible for me to remain positive at all times.
As with everything, the feelings passed and I feel a millions times better this week.
We took Miles swimming this weekend and he kicked and paddled like a fish. He loves swimming!! I did start him on more solid foods and he’s able to work his tongue around them before swallowing. He turned the pages on one of his books all by himself and he played peekaboo with me, laughing heartily when I put a sheet over his head.
He is reaching his milestones and he’ll continue reaching them little by little, when he is good and ready. My job is to continue loving and guiding him without beating myself up for not doing more. I’m only human after all!