I just got one of THOSE emails.
You know the ones that are congratulating you on your child moving onto the next milestone. The ones from the baby shops that are really just trying to promote their equipment and encourage you to buy it.
Every one is a big fat slap of reality. Take that mummy. You’re child is sooooooo unbelievably behind, I think I will just remind you of just how far every few months.
And I will also make you so mad at the email that you will delete it before you have a chance to unsubscribe. So we will just continue to send them.
And we will always send them on one of your bad days.
Or something like that!!
Milestones are always a worry. A concern. Something you think about as soon as your baby is born. There’s the mummy competitions and the strangers asking seemingly innocent questions.
No matter your child’s abilities, whether they be born with additional needs or not, milestones will always eat your brain.
But for us. The mummies whose children aren’t developing typically. Milestones are just something we try to push aside. To forget about. Because they are a constant reminder of how different are babies are.
It’s the same as the Ages and Stages questionnaires.
I got sent one rather innocently in the post for Dixie’s 8-10 month review. What the actual hell?? No parent should have to read those questions when your child is known to be 50% delayed. No parent.
I opened it up and peeked at that first page. Like a horrible accident I had to look but I didn’t want to.
And then I bawled.
I had a conversation with the HV following it and she admitted it was a mistake and that she would bring one for a younger child.
And so she came. And did as she promised, bringing one for a 6 month old baby instead. And as she asked question after question, and I continued to answer no, she started to look a little uncomfortable. So ridiculously I threw in a few yes answers. Just so she wouldn’t feel sorry for us.
As I sobbed later I began to question what the point of it was in the first place. All it had achieved was made our HV uncomfortable and make me feel a little bit shit.
I can imagine she just got back to the office and shredded it!
I understand the point of these for other children. But not when they are already diagnosed. And everybody already knows where they are developmentally.
You see. I like to live in Dixieland most of the time. I don’t want to remember when Maisy did this, or did that. I don’t want a questionnaire to come through my door telling me everything they expect of Dixie.
But sometimes, it’s really flipping hard to forget.
Here in Dixieland inchstones are the new milestones. We go slowly. Sometimes so slowly it might take somebody else to notice the difference. But a difference all the same.
An inchstone is doing ‘so big’ and seeing the understanding on her face as she smiles and unclamps her hands so you can push her arms into the air. And that laugh!
An inchstone is singing row row your boat, stopping momentarily distracted and her communicating in her noises to let you know it’s not ok to stop and she wants to go again.
An inchstone is grabbing the toothbrush and putting it to her teeth. It’s pulling small objects out of a box when asked. It’s holding her legs up in the air while you grab all her nappy change stuff.
An inchstone is her making new sounds that are more like a word than a noise.
An inchstone will be when we get her feet measured for her first pair of shoes even though they won’t get dirty, or the tread worn.
She has so many of these little inchstones that I have to remind myself that these are huge progress for her. Huge.
And I hope one day they come together to make a milestone. One of the big ones.
I’ve finally began to realise that in our case, she’s not just gonna sit one day for me. We’re gonna have days she will sit and other days (or weeks) where she won’t. She’s not just gonna take her first steps after cruising furniture for a month or two. It may take years.
One day I hope I’m posting these milestones with pride. One day I hope she will sit consistency. That she will stand fully and toddle around furniture. Maybe even take some independent steps.
Till then. We will just keep celebrating her inchstones