Oh boy. So, we’ve been cruising right along with Rowenna. She’s a most happy little girl and I’ve documented for you here all her various adorable skills, like grabbing cat whiskers and blowing raspberries.
I’m a first time mom and when I got the Down syndrome diagnosis I literally packed up the developmental books I had pre-purchased. I knew they wouldn’t apply and have since come to believe that they never would have mattered all that much anyways because no matter the number of chromosomes, kids are going to do things on their own time.
Anyways, I’ve been cruising along here having a great time with Rowenna. She’s really starting to sit now and she rolls fast enough that we have to keep a constant eye on her. Her social skills are exploding and her eating skills are right on par with other 9 month olds. I can honestly say I haven’t given much thought to what she’s “supposed” to be doing and I feel we’re lucky that her therapists just take Rowenna where she is and tell us the next step. I’ve never had a therapist or doctor point out how far behind she is.
Today I got a questionnaire in the mail from her pediatrician’s office. It is obviously a mass mailing so I do not blame her doctor for this. March 1st rolled around, Rowenna turned nine months old, and some little thing in some computer went “ding!” and dispatched this mailing.
It’s all about what my child can do. It’s meant to screen for developmental delays. At first I didn’t want to look at it and kind of chuckled, thinking that particular ship has already sailed. Then my curiosity got the better of me and I read through the darn thing and kind of bummed myself out.
There are 32 items on the questionnaire. Rowenna does exactly 8. Of those 8, she only does 5 consistently.
Ugh. Sucker punch.
Don’t get me wrong. I am so proud of Rowenna for what she has accomplished. It’s amazing to watch her play and wonderful to hear her chatting. But man, every once in a while something like this comes and…oof. A reminder that your kid is a little different, that most babies are doing something entirely different by now. It’s a set back, to be sure, but I can already see how much I’ve changed since June because I’m not crying. I’m seeing the evaluation for what it is – a tool that doesn’t really apply to my girl.
And to be really, really honest…for the first time, I’m somewhat glad that I don’t have to worry like other parents worry. I wonder how many mommas get this questionnaire and panic because they can’t check yes to all 32 items. I don’t have to look at my girl and think about what she’s not doing yet, I just look at her and celebrate what she is already doing.
Here is my little wonder, showing off a special gift to grow into from her Auntie in Memphis.
And here is my precious girl having a little fun with her daddy!