The things you miss when your child has a speech delay

Dexter’s birth was a difficult one. The hardest of all five children. A very long (for me) labor and all in my back. When he finally came into the world, I was overjoyed. His tiny face that reminded me of my brother and sweet little disposition. Long and skinny, he wasn’t a “Gerber” baby but he was so cute and perfect to me.

Dexter walked early and had mad motor skills. He started to talk like what I thought a normal child would but then, it just stopped. And his lack of language made him frustrated and angry. He was so, very, angry all the time. And when got pregnant with his brother that just fueled his frustration fire. We sought help for him a little before he was 3. I probably waited too long. But there is that fear with an angry, speech delayed child and I admit, I just hoped and prayed one day he’d wake up and be “normal”.

What I missed was that he was and is normal. His own normal. Our development journey is an easier one, luckily. He is not autistic and likely will catch up with his peers. I’m forever grateful for that. And while I know that Autism is not the worst thing ever, I am grateful he will not have that very difficult journey.

Dixon will be three in August. His vocabulary has recently exploded. He’s funny and makes jokes. You can actually have a conversation with him. He can tell you what he needs. It’s a beautiful thing.

This week we were in the kitchen making supper. Dixon asked and answered questions. When he said, “oh mama you’re mean”, I made a sad face and he quickly replied, “just kidding”. For a moment I felt a mourning for those conversations I missed having with Dexter. And I missed them because of his speech delay. I missed singing songs with him in tiny form and while I get to talk about the moon and stars now, I will never have those funny conversations with my new talker, whose body size matches his mastery level. His tiny body never sat on the counter and named the letters. As a matter of fact, at almost five, Dexter is still struggling with things Dixon is nailing quickly. It’s  a difficult thing not to compare. A difficult thing not to feel guilty about.

We’ve added special instruction to his therapies. We’re hoping by the time this preschool year completes, he will be closer to being on track with his developmental delays. I’m worried about kindergarten, to say the least, but feel like holding him back a year isn’t the best thing for him. Although the days when he screams at me, “I don’t want to go to school!!!”, I second think my decision. Hee hee.

We’ve begun meeting with the schools and I don’t think I’ve asked so many “W” questions to a child in my life. We’re working through pronoun confusion and I am wishing I paid more attention in school. Maybe through his educating, I will re-educate. Except for math, because let’s face it, I don’t get it. You really don’t realize how important the basics are till you have a child who doesn’t quite get it.

I am trying not to mourn what I missed with him. Tiny 2-year-old chatter. I’m trying to take in my 4-year-old’s curiosity about the moon and art and fairy tales. He may always march to his own beat, and that’s okay. He might always have an angry fire and I will have to help him learn how to use that for the greater good; for knocking down the right walls, instead of the wrong ones. I will always have a little sadness he wasn’t given a “normal” that is a societal normal and that’s okay. But I can’t let it shape him or me.

 

 

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

My favorite banana bread (more like cake!)

With the cold weather setting in, I’ve found myself baking more and more. Not only does it fill little bellies, it helps keep our eternally cold house a little warm. Never in a million years did I realize how cold it gets here! After what, eight years? You’d think I would be used to it. Nope. Not one little bit. Our freezer/fridge combo went down over the holiday and with it my stash of black bananas but when I had three left over from a bunch that got forgotten about, my middle son suggested banana bread and I happily obliged.

My favorite banana bread (cake) recipe is from a reader long ago. She send it to me when I was in a funk and I bake it with fond memories of support, every time. I thought maybe some of you could use it too.

Banana Bread (Cake) Recipe

1 c sugar
1/2 c butter
3 ripe bananas
2 c flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine sugar and butter, add bananas, eggs and beat well. Add dry ingredients. Pour into greased pan and bake for 1 hour at 350°.

Easy. It’s lovely with salted butter and coffee. Truly one of my favorite recipes.

I love to bake. I have tried to perfect the perfect scratch white cake for some time now but I think my palette is just so used to the taste of store-bought cake that I can’t quite get it. I would love to know how to come up with my cake recipes versus just cake, filling, frosting combos. Baking is truly a science and honestly, I’m not sure I have to kitchen space but it’s fun to try new things. You know, when I have a little spare time.

But this banana bread is full of warmth and kindness and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have through the years.
Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Dear New Year

Try as I might, I am never going to be one who successfully follows through with resolutions. I have, in years past, been the crazy fat lady at the gym, determined to eat better and work out more because she read that doing those things would help cure her depression. I have been that woman who stores the “positivity” posts and joins all the happiness groups because this is going to be the year that I finally make it into the village everyone is talking about. No one wants Wednesday Adams in their village after all.

Like most people, I’ve failed by March. I’m sitting at my desk, munching on Oreos and loathing myself just like I was four months before. New Year’s Resolutions are just not for me.

2016 was profoundly sucktacular. So much personal and public loss, I found myself wishing for the New Year and when the midnight bells rang and nothing felt different, I realized I was just kidding myself to think that a calendar date changes anything. New Year, new things. It’s just bullshit. The date only changes, we don’t. Not that anyone literally things with the New Year, we’re instantly new. But over the years, I feel like I’ve just lost the hope in new beginnings. And I am not sure I want to be that person.

This year I hope though that I can find ways to change. Instead of resolving to be thinner or happier, or to wish that the flip of a calendar would make it all new, I am going to set goals for myself… goals that don’t just come from the new year, new me mentality.

I’d like to write more. Really write. And no like this. I want to find my voice and instead of whining about why I feel sad, I want to make a difference in the mental health community. The first step though is probably taking care of my own mental health. I want to find a way to treat my sads with something other than medication. And I want to be brave enough to say to the people who say things like “Zoloft takes care of that”, that medication isn’t for me. I find value in my unmedicated self and while I am happy it works for you, comments like “drugs take care of that” aren’t helpful. I am clearly putting my vulnerable self out there for you, I am trusting you and you’re making light of it. I am gonna tell people how much that hurts, rather than deleting, retracting and feeling embarrassed about my own chosen path. I am going to stop apologizing or feeling embarrassed

I am going to stop apologizing or feeling embarrassed about being empathetic. This will be a hard one. I know it doesn’t make sense to people the profound sadness I feel when a child dies, a child I don’t know and that it often sticks with me for months and years after. I cannot turn off those feels without taking out parts of my insides. I can’t say goodbye and the thought of losing someone else is unbearable. It takes my breath away. But I also feel the happy too. I will be the first to celebrate your new life. I am always happy for a wedding, a baby, an achievement. And while those feelings are acceptable, the sad feelings often are not. And we’re supposed to feel for people. I just happen to feel harder than some. It shouldn’t be embarrassing to mourn with the mourning.

The heavy stuff aside, I really want to try new things. The kids have begged to start a YouTube channel and so an “uh oh, I forgot to cancel that membership that is for a full year” mistake means I can use the Skillshare classes to learn video editing and help the kids get the channel they want. Of course, I’ve tried to break it to them that we will likely not the 4million dollar FUNnel Vision family but it could be fun and it will help me to have memories of all the things I know I will always want to remember. I am also excited to have a new tool under my belt. Not that it will be easy to learn but it will be fun to try. I admit, though, I have no idea where to start. And we have no idea what to call it.

I’m ready to let go of the past friendship. The end of last year was tough for me and I found myself wondering where my village was. Well, my village moved on while I stayed still. I’m sure my members got tired of me or grew beyond me and I just couldn’t let go of it. Today, I am going to start saying goodbye to them. It’s okay to have seasonal friends. Someone once told me that. It’s okay that they don’t meet my needs anymore; I clearly stopped meeting theirs too. And that doesn’t mean we hate each other or I have to worry about so and so not liking me anymore but I can choose to focus my energies on people who reach back when I reach out. So old friends, thank you and see you later… because maybe goodbye isn’t the right word.

I really, really, really want to help my friend Laura grow Day’s for Girls. I’ve not felt so excited and passionate about something in a very long time. With each liner and each snap I feel like I am helping someone who truly needs it and she, in return, without even knowing it, is helping me. I am so excited to pack up these bags and possibly send them with my child to be delivered to girls her own age. That she’ll get to see the fruits of our labor and learn that no task, no matter how small, helps people who need help. Laura will perhaps end up thinking I am a crazy person but I am so excited to be involved. I can’t wait to write more about it too!

I want to break outside my Fiverr bubble. The last couple of years I have worked mostly there and let me tell you, making 10.00 a gig isn’t the greatest feeling. While I am not a “professional artist”, I have some talent and it’s worth more than 2.00 an hour. I don’t know where I will do, maybe a stand alone store or etsy but I am gonna start branching out and stop doubting that I know what I am doing. No one started out knowing how to do everything and I am sure that I will stumble along the way but someone is gonna like my stuff enough to buy it. I hope. And I started making these dolls that I am excited about. Hilary, Harry, Carrie… even a potential Donald although I feel he may never sell. He is stuffed with misery I hear, ha ha ha. That was a joke. I am good at these things, I just have to remind myself that they’re good enough to sell and my time is worth it.

 

So that’s it. That’s my Dear New Year letter. Sounds like resolutions I realize but trust me, it’s not. It’s goals. Do-able goals. What are your 2017 goals?

 

 

Hi! I'm Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.