The secret to surviving developmental delays

The secret to life that makes dealing with a child with developmental delays enjoyable is that you get those cute moments when they're growing up, but they're just spread out over more time. If you can set aside what kids their age are supposed to be doing for a moment, you can still enjoy those firsts as they come up.

The skills were harder to master, more anticipated, and sweeter when they finally arrive. And as they arrive, slowly and in spurts, you get time to celebrate every one of the skills. How many parents get to celebrate the first time their child cuts a 6 inch straight line in paper? Or the first time they mimic the drawing of a cross (as in crossing of horizontal and vertical lines, not a religious symbol). I'll remember each of these when they come up. Most people don't even know when those skills emerge, it's just something that their kid does, just like every other kid.

Like today, Billy first showed interest in cleaning himself in the tub. He rubbed himself with a bar of soap, and while he didn't do a great job, he at least was interested. And this time, he let me rinse his body too, which was a nice surprise, usually he insists on doing it himself (and no disrespect Billy, but i'd consider that skill "emerging" at best, and as you and I both know, that bath needed to come to an end at that point).

And lately, he's been able to start to articulate what he wants in very basic terms, and where he wants it, as long as it's also very basic. Like a few minutes ago, he came up to me and started saying something nonsensical about his tablet, but then stopped, had what seemed like a moment of clarity, and asked me for lotion, and pulled up his shirt and turned around in a circle and pointed at his belly, repeating "lotion". This means he wants me to cover his torso in lotion, front and back. When I was done, he made a sigh of relief, gave me a giant smile, and said "Thank you dada!" and ran off noisily to play in his sensory tent in his bedroom.

(Oh, that reminds me, I need to be making a post about that sensory tent soon)

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