Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Comfortable Space

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.


  1. I understand needing that place to be where you do not stop a conversation. When you are around moms who have typical mom worries, it is hard to "talk about" your concerns when it comes to your little one with Down syndrome. I do not like attention or pity on myself either so I get what you are saying. You will figure this out, when to introduce and how to do these things with your second. My best advice, and one which I swear by six years later on this journey, is truly to follow your mother's heart and treat Max just as you did Toby. Yes, Max needs some extra therapy and a little more attention to some of the fine details in life. Yes, you may have to think a little more about all the steps in development and work a little harder to achieve each. Yes, the pace may be a little slower. BUT, I did all the same things I did for Kristen as I did for Renee too. I breastfed both, introduced food at the same time, played with the same types of toys realizing how many regular toys are "therapy" toys in disguise, and loved, encouraged and disciplined in the same way. Those therapists will help guide you BUT you are mom and will always know what is best for that little guy. What a sweet post this is and know I love reading your little space. Also, love Mike's hard lemonade too...have enjoyed a few myself on occasion!:)

  2. That is exactly what blogs are for! I hope if we get to hang out more that I am a good listener and person to talk to! Please let me know if I am not!