Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Making Progress

This is a tough subject to write on, because I have to admit, I'm a little bitter about it lately.  Kennedy is doing amazing.  She's rocking it in PT and EI and I'm really seeing a lot of progress since we've started private therapy services.  That said, she's still a long way from walking.  I'm okay with this.  She's happy and healthy and that's what's important to me.  She went through open heart surgery, and came out on top.  In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter when she walks?  She WILL eventually walk.  But I've been feeling a lot of pressure lately.  From people in the grocery store, from friends, from family.  "Is she walking yet?"  "When will she walk?"  "She's so close to walking, she's just going to get up and go."  It's like she turned one and the world expects her to just get up and go.  For a lot of kids, they do just get up and walk.  But for children with Down syndrome, it isn't that easy.  They have things working against them.  Like low tone, short limbs, stretched out ligaments, etc.  She can't just "get up and go."  She can't reach a lot of things to pull up on, even if she wanted to.  She's a champion stander, but she doesn't understand shifting her weight to walk yet.  And she is not yet standing unassisted, which needs to happen before she walks.  These are all things we work on in therapy.  We work really hard.  Kennedy works really hard, harder than "typical" kids have to work to achieve the same thing.  This is why it's so much more special when she achieves these milestones. 

But as a mom, it's hard.  Deep down, I am perfectly content knowing that she will eventually walk.  And that she's doing amazing, for her.  But I hate when other people compare her to other children.  It's not a fair comparison and it's not fair to put unrealistic expectations on her.  I know people don't mean to be hurtful, but as a parent, when you work so hard, and when you see your child working so hard, it does hurt.  A lot.  It's hard enough to see children younger than her doing things that she's not ready for.  I don't expect people to be experts in Down syndrome.  And the strangers, most of them have no clue that Kennedy even has Down syndrome.  But it's very hard to be challenged and have your every word critiqued when it comes to your child.  This is true of any child, not just children with Down syndrome.  Though I think it tends to happen more when you're dealing with a child with special needs.  Of course I hold Kennedy to high expectations.  I want her to be able to achieve everything that other children do.  I want her to walk, ride a bike, read and write.  And she will do all those things, but she's going to do them when she's ready.  All the therapy in the world cannot make her do them sooner than she's ready, it can only aid her in learning what she needs to in order to reach the next milestone.  She's happy and she's healthy.  That is what is important.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I've never met a happier baby.  She has touched the lives of everyone she meets, and I know that she's going to go far in life.  When she's 20 and doing whatever it is that makes her happy, it won't matter whether she walked when she was one, two or three. 

Hey mom! Pick me up!

I'm stuffed, I can't eat another bite of pasta. Take me home to bed.

It's good to know that if I sleep past ten I can get brunch.

So what's the plan today mom?


  1. You and Kennedy are doing great! I love seeing her smiling face every day. She's a tough girl :)

  2. I know all too well what you are feeling right now. I moan and complain to my husband daily about someone commenting about when she's going to walk and why she isn't. I figure I have been guilty doing this but it drives me absolutely crazy right now!

  3. Thanks for sharing and allowing us into your world. You are teaching us to be slow to speak and to allow every child to grow at their own pace. As you say people do not do it deliberately but by you sharing, we learn and get sensitive. Kennedy is doing great and you are a great mum!