Posted by Duff

No parent wants to hear that his or her child is behind the pack.

“What did I do wrong?” You think. “Was it something I ate when pregnant? It was the anti-nausea meds, or the lack of green vegetables in my first trimester. I know it’s my fault.”

Never mind that that’s ridiculous. You’re a parent, and that’s how parents think.

I’ll admit that I wanted to think that the reason Atticus wasn’t rolling or crawling was wrapped up his easy-going, sunny personality. At worst, he was lazy. At best, he saw no need to stress himself over motion. I assumed he was just different from The Dervish in yet another way. He wouldn’t stop my heart with darting or diving, because he was a sweet boy.

Except he wasn’t feeling so sweet, he was flailing on his stomach, screaming. He went from bringing his knees under him to giving up and assuming this was the best life could get.  And he looked at us and asked for help with an absence of happiness.

And it hurt. It hurt to think I’d waited so long when I knew something wasn’t right, but had been told there was a sliding scale of development. So I pretended he had an ear infection to get him in to see another pediatrician. And that was all it took.

It turns out he had significant gross motor delays. Minor fine motor delays.  Ouch.

The first time he pulled himself to standing was one of the best moments I’ve experienced as a parent. Disneyland for Atticus, who never looked back, and within 2 months was running. And opening canisters of oatmeal and sealed boxes of pasta and sippies.

So I guess what I’m saying is that if you wonder how your kid is doing, ask a professional. And if what that professional tells you doesn’t jive with what you know to be true deep in the places where you know things to be true, ask someone else. Keep asking.

There is no shame.  There is much better for your child, and it will amaze the both of you.

You don’t have to wait, like I did. But even if you have waited,  it will be okay. A child who exhausts you with his stamina, bleeds your ears with his chatter, is there.

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