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.
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