Developmental ups and downs

posted by Jeff | Thursday, March 8, 2012, 11:05 PM | comments: 0

It's interesting to me that many of our (relatively) new parent friends share our concerns about the development of our respective children. I suppose that's true for any parent, and it's easy to be completely neurotic, or completely complacent about the growth of your child. With Simon turning 2, he's had regular physical check ups as well as some recent visits to the county agencies that do the occupational and developmental therapy for kids.

The good news, I guess, is that he's still above average in height. He's just about three feet tall now, putting him in the 90th percentile for height. I don't know why I care, other than I always hated being short (or average). Perhaps it's from coaching volleyball players, or even dating women taller than me. Generally speaking, he appears to be in good health.

He's still lacking upper body strength, which is something that has plagued him pretty much since birth since he was so reluctant to crawl or roll over on his own. Sure, he was extra chubby and a huge kid, but it probably didn't help that we were always helping him. Now we see him struggling at times with climbing. We took away his stools, which has forced him to climb on to the couches. He can do it, but boy did he protest at first. Now if he could only get on to the lower bed in the spare room.

His fine motor skills vary, depending on the task. Therapists have all of these checklists of things, some of which he can't or doesn't do, but when I look at how meticulous he is in the way he segregates the beads on his abacus, I'm convinced that he's doing just fine. I taught him to fist-bump in a matter of minutes. He gets it.

Simon is behind on speech, which is hardly a surprise. This is another thing that I tend to not worry about that much because he generally understands us, he has been signing in context for a long time, and now that he has decided to mimic us, he does make pretty good stabs at words, often without prompting. Heck, he randomly points to stuff and tries to say what the thing is, often to our surprise. He knew what the moon in the sky was without us ever pointing it out in anything other than books. You don't make those connections if your'e not thinking.

His biggest emotional challenge is still processing frustration. It comes when a toy doesn't do what he wants, or he can't fully communicate something to us. On the other hand, he has been making himself physically available in terms of his emotions. He's really enjoying cuddle time, giving hugs and kisses and generally being very affectionate toward us. Simon has really opened up to me in the last few weeks, I think in part because he sees me more. I'm no longer just the guy who hangs out with him on weekends and gives him baths.

I can't give Diana enough credit for following up on the opportunities for therapy and what not. I probably would not have even known these things existed if it weren't for her. That she does her best to keep a social calendar for him is no small undertaking either. Simon is very lucky to have such a great mom.

Overall, I don't think we can be down on where he is. The part that we play in it all has changed dramatically in the last year, because we're a lot more willing to let him "suffer" through things that make him unhappy so he learns to deal with them. It means putting up with a tantrum now and then, but man can that kid adapt if you give him the chance.


No comments yet.

Post your comment: