At La Leche League a few weeks ago the topic of starting solids came up. There was talk of LLL’s recommended signs of readiness for starting solid foods—showing interest in food, sitting independently, beginning to use the pincer grasp. Yes, yes, I’ve done this before, I’ve successfully ignored my pediatrician’s advice to start cereal at four months, and we’re still several months away from thinking about this. And then it hits me—developmental delays means that Max might hit these milestones late, but he might be ready for the nutrition of solid foods before that time. Hmm. So I ask my question.
And then I’ve become that-mom again. Suddenly the other questions about whether it’s better to start with bananas or avocados, or the worries that one kid will only eat peaches, or the stories about the mother-in-law who feeds the two month old mashed potatoes while mama isn’t looking—all of that stops. Because everyone knows that those problems will all go away in a few weeks or months. But Down syndrome will still be around.
The leader starts flipping through the index of her manual while other mamas are suddenly preoccupied with their babies. I try to reassure folks. No, really, I’m just thinking out loud. I’ve got a few more months to figure this out, I’ve got trained therapists coming to the house who know the answers to these questions, we’ll figure it out. I didn’t mean to make things uncomfortable, I don’t need your pity, I’m just doing what mamas do, thinking about what the next step is for my baby.
One of the reasons that I’m enjoying writing in this space is that I’m not sure where else to talk about some of this. It seems like bringing up this new normal of research and therapists and appointments and milestones is a way to shut down a conversation. So it all goes here, instead. It’s mundane and repetitive, I don’t have any advice to share, I don’t have any delusions of starting the next must-read-mama-blog. I've never been much of a journaler, writing to purge has never held my attention. But I do like to write as if I'm having a conversation with someone, even an imaginary someone. After I write things down as if I was speaking, then they stop swirling around in my head.
|Or, if coffee isn't your thing, we could have a beer.|
This is my little comfortable space, where I don't have to worry about speaking out of turn or drawing attention to myself. It's a place where my friends can come to see a bit about what I'm thinking when they're not sure what to ask (although, for the record, asking is okay, too). Therapy seems like a strong word. I've done therapy--this is more like having coffee together with friends. So thank you, to those who are reading and commenting and stopping by for more. It is good to talk about my new-normal in a place where it's just plain-normal, and you are welcome to come by and be a part of this space anytime.