Friday, November 7, 2008

parenting experts

While we're on the topic of doctors and hospitals, I've said before that no mother should have to watch her baby be taken down the hallway to be put under anesthesia twice. It's such a horrible, sinking, helpless feeling. So of course I feel even stronger that no mother should have to do it THREE times. So this third time they let me come along. Hmmmm. Maybe it was better to watch her go down the hallway...

Now, anyone who knows Lucy knows that wow, she can put on quite a show as she throws around her chubby body in a full-on tantrum. She's actually upgraded to some pretty smooth moves of rolling all over the floor as she kicks. Man I need to get them on video.

Well, just imagine one of those doozies here as they were giving her the gas mask. As much as the tantrums hurt my head, heart and ears, it was pretty eerie to watch them squelch her fit with a little gas until she was lying there all calm and peaceful, totally out. Poor baby.
They had to do a hearing test to make sure her ears are ok and that she's really hearing clearly since she's still not saying much of anything.

And happily it turned out that her ears are perfect specimens. So maybe talking really is on the horizon...some day. I thought we were done at that, but now they have to get an ultrasound of her kidneys next week and we have to re-do her thyroid blood test since they lost it.
doesn't that picture just make you want to snuggle her up? She looks so soft
and cuddly and guess what? she totally lives up to the expectations

Since Lucy was born Dave and I have worried. We've looked for answers. We've searched for solutions. We've begged for diagnoses for the delay with no results. And gradually I've realized that you know what? In my heart of hearts I think she's going to be just fine. I think all this delay has been tough but it's also been good. It has made us think. It's made us more aware. It's made us fall deeper in love...all of us. It's made us look at parenting and life in a different, more thankful way.

A little while back as we were in the thick of dealing with the biggest issues my mom sent me this quote. It's from Anna Quindlen and it comes right after the one I adore so much (here) so I must have overlooked it before. But it fits so perfectly with how I feel about Lu:

"I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month-old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too."

The more I've gone thorugh these ordeals with Lucy the more I realize this is motherhood. As mothers we may not be "Parenting Experts" per se, but we are experts...for our own kids. We can pour over every parenting book we can get our hands on. We can visit multiple specialists. We can scour the Internet for answers to everything from bed-wetting to job charts to how in the world to get kids to come out of their shy shell.

But when it comes down to it, we must realize that we mothers are the experts because we're just that...mothers. No matter how many doctors we go to, it's me (& Dave ) who know when to slow down and figure it out on our own. Whether our kids have developmental delays, social insecurities, physical handicaps or stubborn streaks, we mothers are the ones who know them. We're the ones who tuck them in bed at night and who know how to comfort them after they've had a bad dream. We know what will push them to get straight A's or to go a whole day without whining. We know if they need firm action taken if they're out of line or if just a stern look will do the trick.

It's so overwhelming when you think about it. Although I talk a lot about Lucy, I'm just as passionate about figuring out the other four. Their needs just aren't as "in your face" but I know as their mother I'm the "expert" for all of them. As mothers we're all on a continual quest to be those parenting experts we need to be. How do we teach them responsibility? How do we teach them to really love from the bottom of their hearts? How do we teach them to serve selflessly? How do we teach them to do hard things and to appreciate that they get to have those experiences? And the tricky thing is that the answer is seldom the same for even two different siblings. Each needs totally different tactics to help them on their path. But, we can figure it out if we dig in and put our hearts in it, because we're the moms.

And I couldn't be more thankful for the challenge.

27 comments:

Sarah said...

Beautifully written! And so right. I get so mad when mothers concede to some book or doctor (who usually doesn't have kids!!!) instead of trusting their gut. That's what you learn after a couple kids, right?
Lucy IS a little cuddly bunny, isn't she...

bigbucketgirl said...

Well said! I agree and could write you a book about the fights we've had with 'experts' that ended up with them admitting they were wrong or mistaken. It's an ongoing situation that involves 'delay' but as their mother i'm digging deep and trusting myself.

Keep 'mothering'...its a good thing we know whats going on!

Melissa said...

What a sweet post. She's a darling little girl....with a darling mom.

Nichole said...

Such a great post I totally agree 100%. Doctors can be helpful in certain situations but us mothers know our kids and our gut instincts are usually right!

Nichols Family said...

Thanks for sharing Shawni. You're right, she will be fine. Your little girl is perfect. Keep truckin. Thanks for letting us come over and see Marva and everyone the other night...and for dessert! :)

Jennifer Knight said...

Ahh, that made me want to cry! We've already talked about Lucy but I wanted to let you know about a Yahoo group that I find very helpful - Natural Late Talkers. If you go to www.groups.yahoo.com and look up Natural Late Talkers you can join. There is a lot of information there. The parents there all believe just what you said - that the parents of that child are the expert on that child. And as a fellow participant on a Lucy-type journey, I totally agree with the personal growth, marriage enriching aspects of it. But pat yourself on the back for letting it enrich your life...because you have CHOSEN to let it enrich you. Others make a sad choice to let it consume them and tear apart their family. Good luck, and as always, let me know if there is anything I can do, or if you just want to bounce something off someone who's been there.

1photochick said...

What a beautiful post. Good thing I haven't put on my mascara yet!

Shannon

meegz said...

Keep up the good work Shawni. She was surely sent to you for a good reason, as were the others.:)

I stick to the knowledge that the Lord is waiting to bless us and our children..as long as we are worthy and ask.

Take care.

MaryClaire said...

with tears brimming my eyes, thank you!!! you are so very very right. it's been a bit of a struggle with parker and his speech development as well. he still has a ways to go, but the improvements are there, and that is what i focus on. as i started to do something about it, many people doubted me and thought i was being paranoid. i know now and i knew then that they were wrong. i'm his mom, and i know what's best for him...that's my job!!!

Muriel and Jerry said...

I am reading this wonderful post five minutes before I am calling early intervention for Sophie. We mothers know...we just know.

Meredith said...

Thank you for the sweet reminder! I have a hard time figuring out how best to parent my two different personalities with Lindsay and Caroline and welcome when I have the mini break thrus that make me realize that I am the expert in mothering my child and I figured it out!

Melanie said...

Thanks so much for putting into words alot of the thoughts and feelings I've been having lately. I never knew how hard it would be to be a mom (its so consuming), but I also never knew how wonderful it would be to know the needs of your kids more than anyone else could. You are an amazing mom, and I know Lucy will be just fine because of the kind of parent you obviously are.

eyre blog said...

this makes me want to stick with 2 kids but at the same time it makes me want to have 6 or heck 7! If only I could be more like you. I am SO grateful for your example Shawni.

Lisa said...

Keep your chin up! Life is just Hard and never ever easy. Just when you think you have it all figured out..BAM something else hits. I have been to my fair share of doctors, operations and pokes, prodes, etc. You name it, we did it. Both Ellek (my 9 yr old) and Klein (7) has extensive kidney problems. But also, they thought that Ellek has celiac disease so he has all kinds of procedures done. And you know what..after all of that, they are just fine and growing just fine! Now, that doesn't mean I don't take them to yearly check ups at Children's Hospital but I would much rather have my problems or issues then the thousands of other kids there. I am grateful for the kids I got and the problems they have. Every time I go, I get a fresh renewal of my gratitude and thankful for my own problems because I wouldn't want the problems that I see the other kids have. Anyway I am rambling..I am thinking of you and know EXACTLY what you are going through! Hang in there kiddo! ;})

carlston said...

oHi, you don't know me and I feel very strange commenting, but I have followed your blog periodically the last few months. I think I found you through someone else's blog and then your maiden name is the same as my mother's maiden name, I know of your parents (I am from SLC -in fact, they have roots from where my mother is from - Minersville, utah), etc. etc. . Anyway, I love your writing and your photography and I especially love your Lucy. I love her because she reminds me so much of my 2 year old, Kate. She's my third and was born at 33 weeks. She had a pretty horrific entry into the world. Needless to say, I have worried about her from day 1. She was a late crawler, late walker, and is still not talking all that much. She turned 2 in July. She is gigantic in size (not your usual preemie) and so loveable. Considering her birth, this girl of mine is an absolute miracle and she does everything in her own time. I have learned so much about patience and humility.
Anyway, I am so impressed with your words in this post and I really wanted you to know that. Thank you.

Callie (oh if you think it's really creepy that I read your blog, let me know and I will stop - honest!)

The Jolley's said...

Have any of your doctors mentioned Aspergers Syndrome? It is a developmental disorder in which people have severe difficulties understanding how to interact socially.It is an autism spectrum disorder.Our son has this. The internet has a wealth of information. He to didn't speak for many years. He would just point or grunt. He has difficulty with communication and in social situations. We love our son, he has taught us so much more than we could ever teach him.We are so blessed to have this child in our home. I love you blog and your parents, being I live in Logan, Utah.
Kim~

seven smiles said...

I've watched my baby/toddler being put under 5 times. Your description is right on.

(I love Anna Quindlen.)

Keep doing what you're doing. You and Dave ARE the experts for your kids. Good luck and best wishes for all that you're going through.

Teddy and Scotty said...

Shawni I loved that post so much. Last night Scott and I were driving home and he said, "Teddy, I want to make sure we raise our kids to be hard workers. How do you think we should do that?" I had this feeling over overwhelming stress and we started saying things that our parents did to teach us, etc. But when it comes down to it, it's going to be just like you worded it. We as parents will know them best. They will all be different and require different parenting and different structure and it will all work out fine through trial and error. But if we stay close to the Lord and close to each other, we will have success. I'm so grateful for your example on mothering. Like I said one time before, I wish you could just be my next door neighbor when I have 4 kiddlings running around.

Caryn said...

I love your straight forward posts. And I agree having your kids under sedation is the worst, but you are brave, I couldn't ever go watch them! There really is a reason they say 'Mother knows best!'

Shanen said...

I love how your life is just reality. You never know what's coming next. Dut when it does come, and it always does, we as moms just always know what to do. It isn't always easy, but we know. And especially with our own kids. We always know what's best, and Heavenly Father never lets us down. It always works out. You are a great mom and I love reading your posts.

Kate said...

Wow- I can't believe you've done that 3 times. Eli got put under once and I cried that whole time. I LOVE your positive perspective. That's what life is about- making lemonade and sharing that attitude with others- our kids and everyone around us. And that's just what you do. :)

Natalie Carver said...

Thank you for that! Seriously it is so weird... I was sitting on the computer and trying to do some research for my little Callie (on her tummy) and trying to figure out what is wrong with her! And then I thought I should look at Shawni's blog and you had my answer! You said it perfectly! I am her mother and I do know her best! Thank you for that humbling experience, you touched my heart! With Love, Nat

Eyrealm said...

Sure love you Shawni. This is all so true!
Love you,
Linda

Jessie said...

Oh Shawni I am so sorry you have to go through all of this! I totally think you are right on mom's knowing their kids best and that if you feel it will be all right it will be all right. That pic of Lucy in the hospital bed just made me teary. She is so darn lovable and I don't even know her!
Have a great trip to Boston! Enjoy all the leaves!

di said...

Thanks for sharing that post! It was so sweet and you are totally right. We have the most important job being a mom. We may not be an expert on some things. But, we know our kid's. This day and age we have to. Hang in there...

hornes said...

You are amazing! I love reading your blog and honestly don't know how you do it! I always say, "I dont 'cause I have five kids" on all the stuff I din't get around to! But then I have all these amazing mothers around me that have as many kids and can do it all and........... oh well. I am truly grateful for such great example to look up to!
You have the most Darling Fam. Mindy

DEANNA said...

Oh how I feel for you. If I have read enough of your blog, Lu is about 2 + right now.. right? Possibly 3?

Well, I knew something was not right with my little Pudgie. He would not speak a single word. He would point and grunt and being the Mom who is with him 24/7 I knew something was off but could not put my finger on it. I researched Autism and ADD, ADHD and all the lettered things one immediately goes to. I was watching all the little neighborhood kids pass him up but my husband refused to see it.

I took him to our ped. who ruled out blockages in the ears and then to have the delay/ whatever it could possibly be testing done. Turns out... My wonderful little 3 year old is lazy. His 3rd birthday he started talking. Not huge sentences but it was there all along. Problem for us was that Pudgie has an older brother that will do and does absolutely everything for him.

Things are turned around now. I have done speech therapy for the past few months to help with the delay. Every little bit helps. The best thing is having mom with him and forcing him to do what 3 year olds do... even when it would be so much easier to do it for him!!

While I know that My guys speech delays are simply that and a world of difference from your little Lu's, mom's love is always the same. I am so glad you posted about this.

I love Anna Quindlen as well. So many wonderful quotes to live by!

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