As a mother, you worry about everything, all the time. At least I do.
“Is that cough OK? Should he be walking like that? Is that rash normal?”
And it seems like, when discussing your concerns about your kids with other parents, the conversation almost always ends with the same expected, well-intentioned answer.
“Don’t worry, he’s fine. Everything is OK.”
I’ll be the first to admit this is true most of the time. Probably like 98 percent of the time.
But sometimes it’s not.
That’s why it’s so important to trust your parental instincts.
For us, what set off warning bells was Owen’s speech, or lack thereof. At 15 months old he wasn’t talking, at all.
He’d eked out one word. I was blessed that the one word he chose to scream over and over again was some variation of “mom.”
In the next month or so he added “dada” to his vocabulary. But that was it.
From 16-18 months babies typically are saying 20 to 50 words. Owen was saying two. So at his 15-month checkup, our pediatrician didn’t say, “Everything is going to be OK.”
Instead, she said, “Let’s go ahead and refer him for early intervention.”
I was so prepared to just hear, “everything is fine” that hearing something different was a bit of a shock to the system.
We had our assessment with the First Steps program Tuesday and are looking forward to getting the ball rolling with speech and physical therapy to address some other issues discovered a few weeks later.
Meanwhile, in the weeks leading up to his first speech appointment and at nearly 19 months old — like a car that only works right when the mechanic is looking at it — Owen’s vocabulary has exploded, relatively speaking. He now says “TV,” (T) “Mickey” (Icky), “ball,” “hungry” (gee,) “night-night,” “dog,” “baby,” “hi” and “bye-bye,” among a few others.
He even counts “one-two-three” and can identify and say the colors yellow and red — at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
He’s still behind, but it’s a good start. And it certainly didn’t hurt anything to look into getting some extra help.
I am a worrier. It comes along with motherhood.
It’s also genetic; I come from a long line of worrywarts. Even as a toddler, I’m told, one of my most frequently spoken phrases was “I no worry!” — spoken while literally chewing my blanket with my whole body shaking.
So I do need to hear quite often that, in fact, “It is OK.”
But sometimes it isn’t OK … and that’s hard. But it isn’t the end of the world.