Week 24: Development
Happy 6th month birthday Little Dude.
Responsibility can breed insecurity.
The knowledge that all accountability falls on squarely on your shoulders can make you question your tactics and the results. Am I doing this correctly? Is there a better strategy? What are the consequences if I fail?
There is no larger responsibility than guiding a young life, and given the rapid pace of development in the early stages, there is no shortage of opportunity for insecurity. Parents usually maintain pretty high standards for themselves, but young ones are much more resilient than we give them credit for. The insecurity is often misguided
But that doesn’t stem the flood of uncertainty.
Is he eating enough? Is he eating too much? Why isn’t he pooping? Why is he pooping so much? Are we causing the reflux? Is he too small? Is his head too big? Is he focusing enough? Why does his hair look like he’s 50?
To add to the insecurity, we go to the doctor’s office where they make random measurements and tell us where our creation stacks up against averages. And inevitably the young one visits with other young ones, and the comparison contest continues.
Ooohhh…she’s doing this and we’re not. He’s this big and we’re only here. If he can do it, should we be able to?
We’ve had a lot of opportunity to compare, and I’d say the first lesson of parenting should be don’t compare….ever.
In Week Nine I mentioned my newest nephew, Little Dude’s senior by 19 days, The Intimidator. This beast was 20 pounds at birth….ok, maybe not, but he’s a giant…with a Cassey Cassum radio voice! The Intimidator has consistently been in the 95th growth/size percentile compared to Little Dude’s 25th percentile. And in the early stages, 19 days is a large opportunity for development. We’re constantly talking with the Lady in the Shoe about updates on the bambinos. It’s easy to let the mind run wild.
The first instinct is to wonder, question, speculate, but there’s no reason to draw conclusions. Everyone is different. Everyone will develop at a different pace. Sure, it makes sense to have a vague sense of developmental stages and averages, but no need to pay more than a passing glance.
The Intimidator will level out…or The Lady in the Shoe will have a 6 foot 200 pound four year old on her hands. My guess is nature will move towards a happy median.
But that doesn’t stop a Mom and Dad from feeling insecure.
Little Dude was consistently rolling over by Week 15, but here we are at Week 24, and I haven’t seen a roll in at least a month. I’ve heard rumors of a roll here and there, but nothing consistent. He’s not regressing. Just not rolling. As if he’s been there, done that. He’ll do tummy time and just chill, maybe roll onto his side. Then he’s over it and screams. But no roll.
What are we to make of this? Should we be concerned?
We’ve gotten a lot of input, and most don’t seem alarmed. As long as he’s not regressing things are good.
He’s using his legs. He’s trying to sit up. When he’s on his tummy he’s starting to find his knees. He’s starting to eat solid food.
He seems to be progressing. But are we missing something? Or just being insecure parents?
As if on cue, Little Dude gave us the answer today. To celebrate his six month b-day, Little Dude decided to form his first semblance of a two syllable word/sound, and to the Dude’s great honor, he spit out “Dada”… three times!
I wasn’t there to witness it, but Mrs. Dude assures me it was no accident. He was repeating after her directly.
Alright L.D, I hear ya. You’re progressing. No need to worry. I’m giving up my insecurity.
My guess is it could return from time to time, but I’ll try to keep it at bay.