Today BB’s teacher told me that he is a very talkative boy in the class, and he was not paying much attention to learning to write. Well he is four, I do not expect him to pay any attention in class. He will learn to write eventually. He is talking … that’s all that matters for now 🙂
On days like today, a sentence plays in a loop in my head. During the time of my delivery a doctor told me very calmly that “Prematurity has its own complexities”. Little did I know that this line would keep coming back in my life. Thankfully, we did not have any major problems. Thank God for that. I have two 4 years old who keeps me on my toes from morning till night. They hug me, they never stop showing me how very much they love me, and they try to tickle me to make me smile when I feel sad. Sometimes I wonder what else am I longing for. But to be very honest, the human heart always longs for more. A little more. Just a little more… and it is never enough…We say we will never compare our kids, but we do. On days like today, the little things that we do not have stands in front of me in its monstrous shape. What if they did not have the delays… what if I did not need to work extra hard on them … what if they were born full term.. Would they still have these delays? Would they be doing more than what they are doing now? Would they still be underweight? What if .. So many what ifs … sometimes I am looking for answers.. Answers to questions I do not know. On days like today, I put them under a microscope and analyze them. I rip apart each and every delay and try to find a reason .. a cause .. and then I try to think of things I am thankful for. But on days like today it is hard for me to focus on the positives.. on the haves. I long for more. I want my super heros to be more than that. I want them to be that 4 year old in their class who can explain each and everything that he did since morning to his mommy. I want them to tell me everything they did in the school …every person they met .. every thing that they felt … They try, my boys try. They try so hard .. to answer my questions. And then some time when they see me sad or quiet and they do not have enough words … they come and they tickle me … And that on days like today .. opens the floodgates. I know we can never have it all. On days like today I know that I am blessed, doubly blessed. But on days like today I can never stop the tears.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many things. And the fact that I have so much to be Thankful for makes me feel blessed. So here I go, I am Thankful for the boys and D. They make his place home, doing the things they do.
I am thankful that the boys are now catching up and their delays are slowly disappearing. One thing I am extremely Thankful for is that I have found a great daycare/preschool. After many changes, I finally found the place which suits us the best. The teachers are awesome, and the boys are happy and comfortable there. After the boys aged out of the Early Intervention Program I was extremely worried. I was not sure if I should send them to the special pre-school program, or keep them in the school that they were already going to. They were definitely behind their classmates in many ways. I just took the leap of faith and decided to go with my gut to not change their school. It was one of those decisions which could have gone either way. The fact that BB does not take change very well was one of the key factors. He got settled in this school after a lot of effort, a new school would throw everything off and we would need to start all over again. I did not want BB to go through that again. Plus the fact that I was told that they will not qualify added strength to my decision.
The teachers tried their best, I spoke up whenever I had any concerns and the centre director was most accommodating to all our requests. She went above and beyond to help the boys catch up. Junior had issues with feeding, and slowly and steadily they worked on encouraging him to chew. And he did cooperate. Today he eats almost everything. The other day, the centre director said how amazed she was seeing Junior eat a whole slice of a pizza. It did take a lot of time and patience to reach where we are, but what matters is that we are here. The boys started using words and then making sentences. It was an amazing journey, to see them bloom. It is tough to find good teachers, and I am blessed to have two of them who make an awesome team. I am extremely Thankful for Miss. J and Miss. M. The boys will grow up and go places, but this is where their journey started. I hope they remember these two awesome ladies who helped them get started. It matters, and it matters the most.
Last weekend I went out with my gal-pal for a quiet
dinner and drinks date. She is a mommy of a busy 2 and half year old boy. Like
all mommies we started talking about our kids and she mentioned how her Baby O has been diagnosed with speech delay and started the Early Intervention Program.
The whole episode set me thinking about how common speech delay has become, particularly in boys. We are a bunch of 4 girls who hang out together and 3 of us have kids with speech delay. I know few other kids around who have it and all of them are boys. I am not sure if there is a reason why this has become so common. Life is changing, lifestyles are changing, and there might be something which is causing this. All of the moms I have mentioned above (Except Baby O’s mom and me) are SAHM and they are extremely hands on with their kids. The kind of effort these girls put in to make their kids talk is enormous. These kids
spend time at playschools interacting with other kids and they get a lot of attention from the teachers. All of them have been enrolled in the Early Intervention program.
Whatever be the reason, it is extremely tough for a parent to deal with such situations. All kids in Bumbum and Junior’s class talk and have big stories to tell! I know that we should never compare two kids, but then when their frineds run up to me telling me what my boys did during the day at school and my boys can just manage to tell me parts of the happening, it IS difficult for
me to think rationally. That being said; my boys are really trying extremely hard. For the tiny 3 year olds the efforts that I see them put in is enormous. They went through a rigorous early intervention program at home and school. They had DI, Speech and Occupational Therapy for almost a year. I see the fruits of it now. Bumbum won’t stop until he has made one correct sentence to explain whatever he wants to tell me. Just a couple of months back he barely had 50 words. When I work with him
he completely cooperates. He wants to learn and that is my biggest strength.
There are days when I get tired and I give up; then I hear them try and tell stories in their own little way. Just the other day he told me the story of Goldilocks. He told me that there are bears.. count .. one bear, two bear, three bear, mama bear.. baby bear… They walk ..Goddilucks enter… hot soup ..do foo foo (like we blow into hot food 🙂 ).. chair breaks .. Goldilocks sleepy sleepy … All this while his eyes danced, his fingers pointed and his hands spoke .. he told me the best story I have ever heard with his whole body and soul.
I guess the biggest thing to help children with delays or disabilities is to be consistent, to get as much information and help as you can from the experts. In the US there is the option of getting the Early Intervention Program. Lot of
Indians attach a stigma to it, I would really encourage everyone to avail as much help as they can get. And while the therapists do their thing with the kids, the most important thing for any parent is to be on top of things. Our initial
experience with EI was not that great and the therapist spent a lot of time doing useless stuff or chatting with me. It took me time to realize what was going on and then I was not sure what I should be doing. I had no one to refer
or ask. But then I decided to speak up and I realized that how co-operative the administration can be. We got a change of team and I could have never asked for a better set of people. They worked hard training the boys and us on what should be done, and we saw results slowly. The improvement was very gradual. The boys are quite vocal now with their- “I need”-s and “I want”-s. They
speak only in English though. We can live with that 🙂
Like I keep saying .. Slowly we are getting there …