It’s happening. I’m finding my “groove” with motherhood. Now, I do say that with a little hesitancy. I’ve been a mother long enough to know that as soon as we get comfortable, our kid is sure to switch it up on us, always keeping us on our toes and making us second guess ourselves. So I guess I can say I have found my groove…..for now.
But man, I love it and will enjoy this newfound confidence for as long as it lasts. I am sure that it’s no coincidence that these feelings are appearing at the same time that Avery’s development is sprouting upward on almost every level. My little baby is starting to look like a little toddler. Of course he is showing these toddler characteristics in his own “Avery” way. Here’s an enthusiastic update of all the new and amazing things Avery is doing these days:
Avery is walking and has been since around the beginning of September. It’s my belief that this huge milestone has given him the confidence to try new things and has opened his entire world. His walking has led him to become very interested in climbing anything and everything. He has stairs mastered! Since he was one I have been longing for him to climb like all the other boys around him and words cant capture how happy my heart is to see him being a dare-devil and getting into trouble. For parents with kids who are delayed in their gross and fine motor skills, we find great achievement in things other parents may find scary or naughty. I can’t wait to see him run and jump – even if it means he gets a few bruises!
When Avery began turning pages of books on his own we were thrilled. His favorite activity is ‘reading time’ with mom and dad, and we had all been working very hard on this fine motor skill. To some it may seem like a small feat, but again, another example of just how hard he works on the “little” things. Now, during any part of the day you can catch him reading his books; slowly turning each page and babbling with each new image he sees. It looks as though he is reading the book aloud to himself and this is giving him new opportunities to make new noises. Of course, it is what some may perceive as babble, but every new sound and range of tone is showing us a new side of Avery. I am proud of every sound he makes.
Teaching Avery how to play with a purpose has been trying to say the least. I think this is probably common for ALL parents with toddlers. They are little people with big ideas, and unfortunately no matter how much we think we are the boss, we are far from it. Similar to most kiddos, he thinks the best way to play with a toy is to throw it, or slam it on the floor to make that ear piercing bang that I’m convinced they believe is the next great symphony. My patience has been particularly stretched with these exercises because no matter how hard I have been trying, he has never wanted to mimic or repeat anything I show him. Recently this has been changing. He will play his xylophone, holding the stick correctly and also use his drumsticks to play music. I will model rolling the cars across the floor, and he is now doing the same. He is stacking blocks, and waiting until he hears the number “3” before he excitedly knocks them down. I am also seeing a glimpse of interest in make-believe. This is by far the kind of play I am most eager for. I never grew out of playing make-believe and can’t wait to be a chef, a grocery store clerk, or any other role that may interest him.
Also, he is kissing everything! Just as of a week ago I taught him how to blow kisses and I have created a monster. There’s nothing better in the entire world than seeing him learn how to be affectionate. There is nothing more pure and genuine than getting a kiss and a hug from your child.
As of now, Avery only has one word: car. Even though this is the case he communicates better than most young kids who are verbal. He knows 6-7 very useful signs and uses them all correctly. We are in the process of teaching him two more and it is amazing how quickly he can begin using them without being prompted. On average, it takes him around 5 days to learn a sign. This is incredibly relieving, as it seems as though Down syndrome tends to affect speech on a much more prolonged basis than the other developmental areas.
Avery has been growing in leaps and bounds. What once we thought was miles away, is now right at at our feet. It’s a beautiful thing, parenthood. Not only do I provide Avery with what he needs to succeed, he gives me gentle reminders that we are doing this together. We are growing together, and I need him just as much as he needs me.