Our oldest, Luke, was a very physical baby. He held his head up early, he pushed away from us until we learned to spin him around to face the world, he loved to stand on his legs, even before he could sit up well. He's still ahead of the game when it comes to physical milestones. Earlier this week, when we had him evaluated for his speech delay, he tested 6 months ahead in gross motor skills.
|Luke at 7 months. He'd been sitting on his own for a few weeks by then.|
It can be so hard to not compare our two boys to one another. It's a natural instinct that I am trying hard to ignore. I know that it's pointless to even look at the "typical" infant physical milestone charts for Samuel, especially since Luke proved that they don't mean anything.
But you want to know something that is incredibly frustrating about even Down Syndrome Milestone Charts? Here, go take a look at this one. I'll wait. Just to take a quick peek at something simple like "Stands Alone." The average age is 18 months, but it's the range that drives me insane. It says 12 to 38 months. That's an 26 month range for when it may or may not happen. A two year difference between early standers and late standers.
I spoke earlier about just how different each child with Down Syndrome is from even other children with DS. There is a huge range in physical abilities, especially at these young ages. While I know that this aspect of our daily life with DS will change as Sam masters all these skills in his own time...right now, it is front and center. It's literally penciled into our days as we meet with therapists, as we consciously play with him in certain ways to stimulate development, as we find ways to help him tolerate being on his belly so that he can work on his upper body strength.
|Who needs to sit by themselves when you have a Bumbo?!|
P.S. I don't normally let him play with knives. But everyone needs to pull their weight in the kitchen, am I right?
I know that no child is predictable. Shoot, Luke has proven that to me over and over. First with his leap frogging over physical milestones, and most recently, with his lagging speech development. Not even everything about my "typical child" is typical.
It is just so hard to not stare at those charts, wondering and hoping and dreading. A few weeks ago, one of our therapists dropped off a printed copy of the milestone chart they use. I perused it and then laid it on the counter meaning to file it away at a later time. However, without doing so purposely, I placed it on the counter that runs behind my kitchen sink. So, for weeks, as I did dishes and washed bottles, I'd find myself glancing at it. Thinking about what it must be like to have a 6 year old in diapers. What it would be like to have to a 4 year old who didn't talk. How it worked to have a 3 year old crawler.
This was not a helpful habit, as I'm sure you can imagine. I finally got smart and filed it away in the big box full of things I will deal with when I have to. One thing at a time, right? Today, all I'm going to worry about is working on sitting and loving my sweet boy. The challenges of our tomorrows do not need me to worry them into existence.
Less than a week left until World Down Syndrome Day!