If I had a magic wand I would wave it and take away my doubts. Tonight during Allie’s riding lesson I was pushing Boo around in her chair. We strolled around the barn and fields as Allie got her horse ready and I watched another little girl get her horse. She was small and just a little older than Boo and I began to wonder.
Am I making Boo more handicapped than she is?
Don’t misunderstand me. Boo is definitely intellectually delayed. Physically she has the coordination of a 2-3YO. Boo works really hard at being Boo. But as I watched her in her chair I began to doubt myself. I worried that I was the reason she is delayed.
Quite simply, the chair is easier for me. Out of the chair she tries to get into the horse’s paddock, the practice ring and ewww the horse manure. Fifteen minutes into Allie’s lesson and Boo will be asking to be picked up. Then down again. Then up.
So I take the lazy way out and put her in the chair. I wheel her around visiting the horses and watching the different lessons. I am not teaching Boo boundaries and respectable behavior. I am not holding her to the same standard I would Allie.
I take into consideration Boo’s estimated developmental age and when I compare that to what I expected of Allie at that age I realize I am setting the bar low.I mean really low, like on the ocean floor where only scary monsters live. If I ballpark Boo’s developmental age, at 3-ish Allie was expected to behave in public. She would have to walk next to me in the grocery store and would have to do the 3 bite rule at meal times.
Yet I don’t.
Because it is easier. Because I love holding Boo, even if my left hip aches at the end of the night. Because I am getting great biceps lifting Boo. Because I treasure this moment when she is a mommy’s girl and want it to last forever and a day.
I know that I shouldn’t compare Boo to that little girl at the barn (and this is just one example where I take the easy way out). I should be proud of all Boo has accomplished, more than anyone ever expected. In my heart I know I am holding Boo her own standard, the one that is right for her. It’s in my head that I have doubts and worries.
I worry that I am holding her back. I doubt in my ability to give Boo what she needs. That by taking the easy way out I am not allowing Boo to flourish.
On the upside she didn’t fall into the manure.
This is how I finished the sentence, “If I had a magic wand….” for Finish That Sentence Friday. How would you?
I'm glad she didn't fall into the manure.
That's a really tough one, but you seem to be self-aware enough to notice before you hit too much of a problem, and in the end, you're her mama – you know her (and Allie) best, and have proven yourself in being adept at raising two great girls.
I reckon you'll be alright 🙂 Enjoy the carries and the cuddles while she's small enough, and you still feel right about it.
Kerri, I think you are doing only the best for Boo, but will say this even I question what I do for my kids sometimes and again they by all means just average for their ages right now. I think as parents we do this sometimes, but could only imagine how much more you may do this, because of Boo's developmental delays. However, like I said you really are a wonder with her and hank you for sharing with us how you would answer the sentence!!
What an honest post, Kerri. I know I have taken the easy way out with my kids, even if it would have been better for them if I hadn't. But you said it yourself – you know in your heart that you are holding Boo to her own standard – the right one for her. So in this case, ignore your head and listen to your heart!
Oh, you really made me think. I second Dana- listening to your heart is better. And you are so good at balancing everyone's needs, but remember your own are important too, and if the chair is sometimes easier for you, well, then… do it! You are so self-aware, insightful, and wise. Trust that. Trust your instincts.
I doubt myself all the time, and feel like I am holding my son back, too. But at times when I push him too much, it just makes things so much more stressful for both of us. I think if you are able to have a nice, enjoyable time together, it's all good. And I agree with Dana, too… definitely listen to your heart. You're a fantastic mommy. 🙂
Oh my oh my!! Been there, done that! This is one of those times to listen to your heart but don't ignore your head. Keep the standards where it will work best for the whole family and keep trying to inch that bar up!
Let your heart tell you what works best, Kerri……and I”m sure Boo, as she grows and moves forward, will let you know too.
As moms, I think we need to trust our instincts with our kids. I do the same thing with my youngest in terms of holding him to a different standard than his older brother. He's been through different things in life with his health issues and I think that although it doesn't mean he should receive special treatment, it does mean I need to give him different consideration with certain things. You'll know when to raise that bar, mama!
I second everyone else on this…if you trust your instincts, you'll know when to raise that bar. You are an amazing mom. And I think that it's only natural to be a little more protective of children with special needs. I know that my mom was more careful with me than with my brothers (it's easy to compare since we're all the same age), and there were times when she let me sit in a stroller when technically I could have walked. Same with my dad — I received many piggy-back rides! The higher standards came gradually, and they knew when to push me.
I don't doubt your ability as a mother in the slightest. You are an amazing mom, and Boo is amazing too. Like the others have said, you'll know when you can raise that bar. 🙂
I think you're doing it the exact right way. The other day, I left the stroller at home when we went to the Botanic Gardens. I so regretted it. Tucker is freaking heavy. Keeping our kids out of the manure is important. You'll know when it's time.
I adore you.
Keri, you know what, we have all been there. I have definitely taken the easy way out with my own 3 kids and they don't have the same delays as Boo. So please don't be this hard on yourself. She is an amazing little one! I had the pleasure of running into her twice today and she brings so much joy just being who she is. Thanks for being so honest in your posts and reminding us that we are all doing the best we can with our circumstances. Love you!!
This was a touching post and as every mom wants the best and only best for her child.
I do wish you are never in doubt with her development for your love will nurture her into a kind and gentle soul