All Things in Due Time by Heather Bowles

There has been some recent concerns that Tabitha is not developing physically as she should. Being somewhat delayed in her physical milestones would not be a bother to me if that’s all it meant. I really don’t care if my child is ever a world class athlete. I didn’t even watch the summer Olympics, and if she doesn’t walk until she’s 13 or 14 months old, that’s perfectly fine with me.The knowledge that with early physical delay often comes delay in other areas of development sent me into a tailspin though. I still believe, although our recent experiences in this household appear to the contrary, that a woman’s future economic success is most often driven by her ability to soak up information, educate herself independently, and pursue high end careers with an emphasis in science and mathematics. My baby’s gonna be smart, gosh darn it!

I went into educator overdrive. I dug out several old, dusty binders from previous conferences I’ve attended, but they were largely unhelpful. Early childhood special needs is a niche market, and special needs conferences tend to teach to the middle. What to do with children in gradeschool does not particularly fit with what I was looking for. I did find one make and take project that seemed interesting, but the resulting noisemaker I created from an old Pringles can, beads, construction paper and some colored tape was completely unimpressive to her.

The most frustrating part in all of this is the knowledge that she is perfectly capable of doing the things expected of her. She does reach for objects, and she does roll over, but not as frequently as one would expect. More often, laying her on a play mat with her favorite toys surrounding her results in crying and screaming, rather than spontaneous autonomy.

Still, she’s babbling, cooing, and smiling, and new noises are popping out of her on a daily basis. She loves books, particularly Green Eggs and Ham, and she watches everything I do with the curiosity of a new puppy. In fact, I can’t leave her unattended in the mornings for several hours after she wakes, because doing so causes crying. Any room I go to, whether it’s the kitchen to cook, the bedroom to put away laundry, anything I do and anywhere I go is super interesting to her.

So, I’m going to dig deep, and find the patience I started with, and try not to worry too much. Maybe when she finishes sprouting this first tooth she seems to be agonizing over, she’ll be more interested in shaking and rolling mommy’s homemade maracas.

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