My journey of errands today took me by the hospital where both of my babies were born. Then on down the road and past the lab where we had to take Jacob the first week of his life.
He had lost so much weight. He was so very jaundice. And he cried. All. The. Time. That entire week. That first week we took him back to the doctor for weight checks three days in a row. Slowly, slowly he started gaining weight again. He simply wasn't getting enough to eat. A breast reduction several years prior had seen to that. (All of my male reader(s)--don't go all Sam Kinison on me. The one and only man on this planet whose opinion matters thinks I'm a hottie with or without the triple Ds).
So, we ignored the Breastfeeding Nazi and his impossible demands and went with his more rational colleague who told me it was okay to feed my starving newborn formula. I wasn't a bad mommy and my child wasn't going to be an ax murderer simply because he wasn't 100 percent breastfed. And then we all slept.
A year later at Jacob's one year well baby visit another medical professional had me walking out seeing red. She hedged and hinted at developmental delays. I realize that all they get is a snapshot of where a child is and what that child is doing. They rely on the parents to fill in the picture. She wasn't giving us the opportunity to do that. All she focused on was that my son wasn't saying "Mama" or "Daddy". To her that meant he was lacking something, somewhere. To me, the mommy, it meant there was too much other stuff going on in his brain--he couldn't be bothered with labels.
She wasn't interested in hearing how--at a year old--he was building amazing structures with his legos, separated by size and color. Or that he had figured out how to stack up books to create steps to carry him up and over the living room gate. There was nothing delayed about my child.
Two days ago I took the little man in for his three year well baby visit. And the doctor was blown away by his development. Not the same doctor--we do our best not to see her anymore--we have the Rational One as our primary pediatrician. His speech is clear and understandable. He has a larger vocabulary than I do--it seems that way at least! He is so far ahead of his three-year-old peers in so many ways.
The doctor's only advice to me was,"Try to stay one step ahead of him. And try not to let him see you lose it." Too late on both. But it was reassuring to have the support. To have someone simply be honest with me and tell me that it was not going to be easy raising this brilliant child.
Today he insisted, insisted, that he wear underwear to his playgroup.
Only babies wear diapers, Mommy.
But you are still a baby. You're my baby. We've been through a lot, you and I. And I'm not ready for you to leave toddlerhood behind.