I became an idiot

This past week was wonderful. We had a house full of company for the long weekend, Allie is exhausted from all of kids. She (and Boo) had a great time playing with their cousins, the ones that are their ages and the ones that just act like it.

It was a hard weekend for me and not just because I did 15 loads of towels! I know Boo is delayed, that she will most probably be labeled “intellectually disabled” within the next couple of years. She has made such gains this summer in the new special-ed program and I am so proud of her.

This weekend I was taken by surprise to see just how far behind she remains. As Allie and her cousins ran around the yard, played on the bounce house, climbed all over the playground Boo tried to keep up. She really did. She was so excited and squealing. But every time she got close…ZOOM they were off in another direction.

It was great for Allie. She got to play with kids who could keep up. She ran around the amusement park with her Uncle and got to go on all the rides (poor husband was working!). Boo was content to sit in the stroller and watch them have fun.

Boo was fine. Allie was fine. I was guilty. Because instead of seeing all the gains Boo has made, I saw her flaws.

I saw Boo not catching up.

I saw people not understanding Boo’s efforts when she tried to communicate.

I saw Boo not being able to jump on the bounce house.

I saw Boo getting overwhelmed when we went to the playground that had sand surrounding the play structure.

I saw Boo not  being able to do things a typical 3YO can do. Things that her cousin (who is 3m younger) did without any difficulty at all.

Although, Boo was MUCH better behaved in the restaurant 🙂

I feel horrible.  I feel guilty. I feel like I let Boo down.

I admit to having high expectations for Boo. When they said she wouldn’t walk, I got her more therapy and a pediatric walker. A year later she walked. I have always set reasonable (in my mind) goals for Boo and never felt that as a mom I was short changed.

I have never looked at another child and was envious. I have felt that it wasn’t fair that Boo had to work so hard. That I would look at other parents and cringe when I heard them complain about their toddler getting into things. I would think to myself, if only!

But until this weekend I never looked at the other children and held Boo up to their level of development.

I have always looked at Boo and been proud. Sure I’ve been embarrassed (like that time in Church) when she acts up in public. But I’ve always been able to rationalize that those staring didn’t know Boo and could kiss my right cheek.

But this weekend, I was one of those idiots who judge my daughter.

8 thoughts on “I became an idiot

  1. Laurie Wallin

    I do it, too. 😦 Sending hugs, new friend. (found you through Ellen's linkup). Last year I helped lead my 10 year old's Girl Scouts troop and I started to see her as so much less-than because she LOOKS like all the other tweens, but is so different developmentally (and because of her bipolar/tourette's issues, it's not a socially-acceptable different…). I ended up ditching GS this year. We're in Karate instead. Ah, much better!

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  2. Big brother, Little sister.

    Kerri you write so very beautifully and I was nodding along reading about your thoughts and emotions. i think we would all be guilty of judging our kids at some stage or many stages as we hold such high expectations of them and for them. its sometimes easy to forget the difference until it is slapped in your face for a weekend!give Boo a big squeeze from me xx and a high 5 for such great eating out manners!

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  3. Kerri

    Smart lady, karate where individual achievement is more important. I will have to remember that in a few years!

    Glad to hear I am not the only parent who falls off the cheer leading 🙂

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  4. charity

    i'm guilty of judging my own daughter as well. i look at her and see the stuff she can't do that a “normal” 4 yr old can. i then realize i should be rejoicing all the stuff she can do. but hey at least boo was really good when eating out. thats a plus for u

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  5. Maya

    I just wrote recently about the same thing. I don't see it as judging per say….maybe just mourning or grieving a bit. To me, judging would be more…I don't know…like, “What's wrong with that person that they can't do what their peers can?” But to recognize the differences in your child and be sad or surprised at that, I think that is grief talking.

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