There’s this thing that happens when you have more than one child. You try really, REALLY hard to see them as completely different people, because they are. But when you have one that is classified as “Special Needs,” it’s really hard to not have that in the back of your mind when you’re looking at your second child. Oliver and Archer were no exception to this.
It’s always been a…. fear? (I don’t even know if that’s the right word) of mine that Archer would have some of the same struggles that Oliver has had. Speech delay, issues with potty training, social issues, fear of food, clothing issues, anxiety… etc, etc, etc. I’ve had it in the back of my mind since the day I found out I was pregnant with him, so when he started babbling…. I was… relieved. I thought “Okay, he’s gonna progress like he’s ‘supposed to’,” knowing full well that statement is bullshit anyway cuz hi, he’s his own kid and will do what he wants.
That babbling has turned into very few words here and there. And that thought of speech delay kept creeping up from the darkest parts of my brain. I would push it back into the shadow, and say to myself “It’s okay, he’s making MUCH more noise than his brother did at this age. And there’s no other signs of issues…. right?” I doubted myself. For over a year.
Thank goodness I have people in my life that are knowledgeable in such things as children and child development. Because there were things that I saw, things that I KNEW were red flags, but I was choosing to ignore. So, after our emergency visit this spring to Colorado… I started paying a little bit more attention. And I started letting that thought creep up from the shadows, and instead of pushing it all the way back to the hole it came from, I set it aside and said “Wait. Let’s see what happens.”
And now… here we are. At two years, one month, and 23 days, and he’s making noises. But not words. I mean… they’re words to him. And *I* know what he’s saying. And there’s progress…. but if I’m being honest, and I’m being real, and I’m looking at it the way that I SHOULD look at it…. it’s VERY slow progress. So.
Tomorrow, at 9:30 am, someone from Early Child Intervention is coming to my house to meet my little guy. And see if we need an evaluation. And see what we need to do. And part of me is really glad that I mentioned to his doctor that I thought we needed something. Part of me is REALLY thankful for my step mom pointing those things out all those months ago, even in the midst of my mourning. Part of me is thankful that we live where we do so that he can get the help he might need.
And part of me feels like a failure, like I did something along the way to make this happen…. not once, but TWICE. Part of me feels lonely, and sad. Part of me worries for what might come. Is there a diagnoses to be had? How is this possible that it could happen again? Aren’t they two completely different children?
So now, instead of pushing the thought of “He’s not developing like he’s supposed to” back into the recesses of my mind. I try and push all those negative parts of me to the shadows. Because they ARE different. And he’s gonna be okay. And just because one needs extra help in school, and some major structure at home, and constant reminding of what I just said 30 seconds ago, doesn’t mean that he will. They’re not the same. They’re their own people… and holy FUCK are they amazing.
Part of me can’t wait to see what he will do tomorrow.