Yesterday was Matt’s birthday and it also happened to mark the 6-month date since Jack went into cardiac arrest.
Milestones (meaning developmental milestones) begin to hold different meaning for children with special needs.
I remember reading once that a mother of a child with special needs dreaded getting asked how old her son was. I now see why. When people ask how old Jack is, I can see them doing the mental math and expect him to have already reached certain milestones (like walking). Other times people make comments like, “oh he must be running around now..” without realizing.
These comments and questions don’t really bother me. But it does quickly point out the deficits Jack currently has.
In their first few years of life, children change and grow so rapidly and milestones are our way of tracking and ensuring they’re developing in a typical way. Those same milestones serve as red flags to parents if something isn’t met on time. This is understandably very worrying for some parents.
Now I measure Jack’s milestones differently. I measure them when they happen without expectation of when they should happen. He’s going to walk. That’s a certainty. But I’m no longer concerned that he hasn’t walked by this date or that date. I just plan to have a big ol’ celebration of that milestone when he takes those first steps.
And I’m pretty sure that when he does, “running around” won’t be far behind.
What’s new with Jack this week?
- He’s pulling up more & more on all kinds of surfaces and more frequently with the proper “lunge to stand.” He’s even taken a few shaky steps along furniture and the water table at Science World.
- His four-point crawling is a little bit faster but he still resorts to commando crawling when he’s tired.
- We’re noticing more unconscious opening of his left hand and every once in a while two-handed play is sneaking into his routine. He’s trying on his own at least.
- He’s still babbling up a storm with new sounds and we’ve even heard him say “banana” properly a couple of times.
- He’s also growing three new teeth and so he’s been exercising his toddler right- to be screechy, fussy, cuddly, awake… you know the drill.
- As for medical updates, we’ve heard from the radiology team at Children’s who believe Jack’s MRI results are consistent with brain damage due to hypoxia but we will be seeing through genetic testing to be certain there is no underlying metabolic disorder.
- Jack is pretty often a hit with most people around him and continues to like spending time with his therapists which is pretty essential too.
Pretty incredible to think how far we’ve come. He’s not quite caught up to where he was pre-trauma but he’s pretty damn close. Keep givin’ ‘er little one.