Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Day After Yesterday but Before Tomorrow

We have an appointment tomorrow with a pediatric neurologist. There was a cancellation and we grabbed it - but as G. pointed out, it IS Friday the 13th. Good thing we're not superstitious, knock on wood.

Today was a good day (damn, I'm already talking like the mother of a special child). Ben got up on all fours if I braced his feet. I suppose he had no choice as I was shoving his knees under his body. "See? See? He's almost crawling! He can do it!"

I also taught him to hold up his arms when I say, "How big is Ben???" about 10 times. It could be chance, but I'm thinking it proves he's totally normal. No chance of mental retardation, see? I even caught it on video. Poor guy passed out at 7:30pm without fussing at all because he was so exhausted from proving to his mother that he was OK. He was smiling when I put him down. "Thank God. Now maybe she'll leave me alone."

Do all parents awaiting a diagnosis do this? Do they do stuff to prove to themselves how normal their kid is? I mean, what is that? Ben is Ben, diagnosis or no diagnosis. He's the same kid he was last week. And he'll walk when he walks and talk when he talks. I mean, once your child is delayed, "normal" is kind of useless and you just have to take your kid for who he is and what he can do. I want to be all zen and "hey, God will take care of us and what's meant to be will be." But yanno what? I'm not all zen. I'm pretty positive, and I do think we'll figure it all out and I'm just grateful he doesn't have a life-threatening disease. But I also hope he doesn't have CP. I'm sorry to all the people who have it and live fulfilling lives. I know you're there. I'm just not in acceptance mode yet.

I'm hoping like crazy that he will need a bit of physical therapy and we'll all need to do yoga with him and he'll be as good as anyone on the Tiny Tots soccer team. I don't want him to be great - I just want him to be right in the middle. Not the best, not the worst. I was the worst (long story, 'nother post) and it sucked. And I don't have any sort of neurological disorder. I just had an overprotective mother who wouldn't let me do anything. And I was short, which for some reason equaled "uncoordinated" in the minds of all the "captains" who picked teams.

I guess that's true even if he isn't delayed. A. took 15 months to walk because he was quite happy with crawling for a long time. Right now, he's almost 3.5 and he still rides his bike Flinstone-style because he doesn't want to try the pedals. The 1.5-year-old next door can use her pedals. I mean, we're not exactly athletic-scholarship-breeding people.

For the first time today, we faced the question of what we tell people. Our neighbor babysits two kids - one is the infamous W., and the other is his little sister, S., who was born the same week as Ben. We were playing outside and our neighbor told us that S. was cruising and had taken a couple steps. Normally, I'd say something like, "Yeah, Ben prefers to have us move him. It hasn't occurred to him that he could be the master of his own destiny." I'd cluck my tongue at his sense of entitlement.

Now we have the possibility that he's not normal, and I don't know what to say. It stops me cold. Do we tell her? What's she supposed to say? We don't even know what's going on yet.

OMG - I was just channel surfing, which takes about 10 seconds since we got rid of extended cable, and Fiddler on the Roof is on PBS! One of my all time favorite musicals! There's Starsky! Or is it Hutch? Oh, it's Sunrise, Sunset - tell me that doesn't make you cry. At my sister's wedding, my dad and BIL's dad sang this song, so that my dad would sing, "When did she get to be a beauty?" and his dad would sing, "When did he get to be so tall?" I mean, tell me you wouldn't be bawling. I was 10 years old and you can hear me on the tape bawling throughout the ceremony. I'm 40 years old and they still bring it up.

OK, anyway. What do I say? "Oh, Ben might have CP. We don't know yet." I have no idea how to bring it up casually, but I guess that' s not my biggest concern right now. I don't even know if I will have to say it at all. I'm not worried about it, I'm just noticing it.

On another note, my response to all this was to tell everyone I knew. I wanted to know if my friends knew people who had gone through something similar, what they knew and what happened. My mom's group was awesome - they came through with so much support and care that I cried. My sisters did the getting-tons-of-information thing that we do whenever anything comes up. (Want links on bladder cancer? I still have 'em from when my dad had it). G.'s response was to tell no one and to take the kids to the toy store and let Ben hold on to the train table. He did it, bore his own weight and G. convinced himself everything was fine. I think G. feels like he has to take care of the people he tells, whereas I feel that the people I tell will take care of me.

For the most part, I do think everything will be OK. I so appreciate everyone's concern - it makes me feel like it's OK that I'm freaking out for a few seconds every now and then. But I'm not freaking out that much. And I'll let you know what happens.

BTW, it's National De-Lurking Week. That means you need to leave a comment on the blogs you visit. You don't have to identify yourself, and you don't have to have any words of wisdom. Just say hi, eh?


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