Cody is finally on the move. He’s bear crawling, pulling himself up onto things and moving all over the house. Common with Down syndrome, Cody hits his milestones much later than a child without the extra chromosome. While other people’s children that were born at the same time as Cody are quickly sitting up, crawling, walking, feeding themselves and starting to say words, Cody is quite a ways behind. This is not unexpected. You know that this is a part of having a child with Down syndrome.
At each of Cody’s wellness visits at the doctor I am reminded of these delays the most when I fill out the development survey. The answer is no to all the typical expected milestones. No he doesn’t do that. No he can’t do that. Nope not that either. As I sit in the waiting room filling out this form, it is obvious that all the other kids similar in size to Cody are doing so much than he can. It can be a little defeating. Jealousy and a lack of patience fills my heart as I see other kids moving along faster than my little Cody.
When researching Down syndrome I read and was told by other parents that when your child reaches each of their milestones it is so exciting. They all stressed the word exciting emphatically. It’s even a whole different level of excitement compared to your typically developing children accomplishing their milestones they said. I remember when each of my twins started smiling, sitting, walking, talking, it was very fun to watch them change and excel. Their growth happened so fast. They zoomed through each phase. So much that the first 18 months is quite a blur. I was curious on how different watching Cody’s growth would be. Would the delays be frustrating or would it be as exciting as these parents say?
With a Down syndrome diagnosis the focus is always on what this child will not do and there is a lot of focus on the negative. It’s a good thing that other parents gave me this optimistic perspective because they were so right. Watching Cody reach a milestone is a whole different level of excitement. It’s a celebration of pure exhilaration that the whole family participates in. There is cheering and jumping around and shouting and rejoicing.
When you are forced to be patient and wait as you watch this little child work so hard at something, you cannot help but be overjoyed when they actually figure it out. Time is all they need, just a little extra time. And as a parent it gives you the time to savor each phase. And just when you wonder if they will ever accomplish a certain milestone, just like that, they do. Just like a typical child, just a little slower. And once you see a few milestones reached, you even stop keeping track of how behind they are. You know it is going to happen and you enjoy the ride. And the slower ride is actually kind of nice because we all know our children grow up way too fast.