Saturday, February 21, 2009

Last night

A young mother who has two small children of her own asked me how old Finn is, and when I told her that he's 7 months, she asked me if he's "scooting" yet. I told her no. She knows that he has Ds, but it seemed that she didn't understand that that means certain things, and I felt compelled to justify the fact that he's not "scooting" by explaining to her "Well, you know he has Down syndrome, and often babies with Down syndrome do things a little later than other babies." And it made me feel sad. Not so much because he has Ds and some asssociated delays, but because it made me uncomfortable to have to explain him to someone. She said, "Well, that's probably easier in some ways." And that made me sad, too. Really . . . easier? I don't know. Maybe she just didn't know what else to say. The whole brief exchange has been bothering me, though. In the grand scheme of things, it's a tiny thing, but it's bugging me anyway.

5 comments:

Carla said...

Oh man, I can see why that comment would be eating at you. She probably didn't know what to say, said that, and is kicking herself about it now. I'm sorry she said that to you. Unfortunately, I think she was doing a bit of the "let's compare (and compete about) our babies" and then backed herself into a very uncomfortable corner when you told her about Finn's Dx.

Kristin said...

It should be a rule that mothers can't compare babies. Even babies without reasons for delay do things at their own pace. I hate stressing out when one of my kids is deemed "delayed". Off to potty train my 3 year old.LOL!

Khourt said...

Probably not the thing you wanted to hear but coming from a mother whose child wasnt moving around until 2.5 years it was easier in some ways :) No having to chase him down, clean up messes, etc.

Jeanette said...

Oh Lisa, it seems like I have been having this conversation a lot lately when it comes to Sydney and the question "so, is she walking?" Some days it really doesn't bug me much, but last week I almost broke down and cried in the middle of one of these conversations. I wish I had magic words or advice... Because I'd take it myself.

starrlife said...

What I usually say in those kinds of situations (ex.- how come K. doesn't talk as good as other kids?), is "Everyone does things at their own pace, some slower and some faster"- which is the real truth. Often I add "and she's really good at ... don't you think?". Moms become obsessed with talking about their kids development- which is fun until someone starts judging or acting like it's a competition! I've been known to appreciate the delays since in typical kids the milestones are all reached in a flash and then it's on to the next one- no time to savor it. Also, I find a found appreciation for development and it's fascinating process! You're okay...