Monday, May 16, 2011

Disappointment Bug

Eslea is beautiful. I adore her. I am blessed to be her mother and I would never (never, never, never) trade her for any other child in this entire world.
Yet, when something that seems so small occurs, it can shake my world. Ever so briefly, but it does.
As of today, Eslea still is not sitting unsupported.
I know, some of you may be wondering why that matters so much.
It matters to me.
For the most part I try not to think about it as I help her balance as we go through our physical therapy exercises. Day after day. All the time I'm thinking that today might just be the day she finally gets it.
Sometimes we are close. She is sitting for almost a minute at a time. But when she reaches for a toy or sees something that excites her she becomes distracted and topples over.
I know, some of you will say to give her time.
In my head, I know this. I know that it is not from lack of effort on her part or lack of determination on mine.
Yet, placed on my refrigerator with a green magnet reminding me to recycle, is a chart. A chart that shows the ranges of basic skills for children, both "typical" children and those with Down syndrome. According to this chart, "typical" children begin sitting between six and nine months. Eslea will be eight months Saturday.
I know, some of you will say that even "typical" children can vary so vastly in their developmental milestones.
As her mom, it's hard. It's challenging to watch her very petite and chubby little arms try so hard to reach the ground to stable herself yet she falls just ever so short. Because she can not reach, she props them on her plump little legs and eventually…they slip as a laughing little bundle of joy falls sideways to the floor.
She keeps on trying that little girl of mine…over and over and over again. I’m aware that her challenge for sitting is the same thing that makes her adorable, those tiny arms.

Mothers who have been here before, how do I get past this? What am I missing? I enjoy the time I have with her while we perform these exercises under the guise of playtime. I just so wish to totally enjoy her smiles and giggles instead of always having the minuscule disappointment bug creep up into my head after playtime is over and the end result is still a baby that does not sit alone.
Darn little disappointment bug. I so wish they made raid that was safe for your brain.

Well it’s Monday people and I’m psyching myself up for the week ahead.
I hope yours is fantastic!

Note:  Once again...I 'm having some technical difficulties but make sure to come back later for pictures of a Es and her sitting up endeavors.


  1. If it helps, Fiona just mastered it a couple weeks ago and she just turned 9 months. Its always the hardest for me when we are hanging out with our 5 other friends who all have babies my daughters age. I can't help but compare how behind she is next to them. "The pain of that with never, ever, ever, ever go away"- Welcome to Holland. But you just have to indulge in the unbelievable moments. Soak up who Elsea is now and praise what she has overcome so far. Just remember, sitting leads to crawlig, crawling leads to walking, which all leads to a very tired momma :)

  2. Be prepared for the moments of disappointment to come and rear their ugly heads from time to time over the years. I won't say they go away completely, because they definitely don't. If it helps at all, Samantha wasn't sitting unsupported until she was about 10 months old. I mean, she could *mostly* do it at 9 months, but not consistently and definitely not safely. It'll come... And btw, GET RID of that chart!! Unsubscribe to the BabyCenter e-mail bulletins about what your child *should* be doing this week/month/year...they're always bound to cause frustration. ((hugs))

  3. its ok...embrace the disappointment..allow it..cry if you need is so ok and important...we all know how much you adore your little Elsea and we also understand you just want what is best for her..having a older child first does not help with the knowing what comes next and how quick it took...but with Elsea it will just take more time..time in which is hard to get over and feel disappointed...Maddie's dr always tells me after Maddie is walking you will no longer think about how long it took...he is right..I do not remember when she started sitting up, crawling, cruising...all I think about is that she is not walking...and hopefully someday soon I will forget that milestone to! to answer your question for me...there is no really getting past just seems to get less important-easier to handle...somedays are just better then others...also I am with Becca get rid of the chart..burn is bad karma! and a unrealistic expectation for your Elsea...I am not a fan of this but it has held true for our Maddie...Elsea will do EVERYTHING she will just do it when she is ready...I am so feeling this post! smiles

  4. Oh man, I can relate to this post!!! This time last year I was OBSESSING over the fact that Russell was not sitting. I swear every waking minute it was on my mind...What could I be doing more of with him, why isnt he able to do it yet, when will he be able to do it...And you know one day he just could! I did the exact same thing with the crawling...I worried about why he showed ZERO intrest in even rolling towards something let alone crawling...And then one day he just did it!
    I guess the only advice I can give, is rip the charts off the fridge and just go with the flow! Haha, and I realize that this is easier said than done. Its just that honestly I feel I spent way to much of Russells first year worrying and obsessing about those milsetones. I feel I wasted time, and if I could go back to him being 8 months old...I wouldnt sweat that stuff so much...Because it all happens eventually.
    LOL...I just read Beccas comment, I see she said the same thing about the chart!

  5. I could have written this post. j didn't start sitting unsupported until he was 8 months and he's almost 10 and he's still pretty wobbly. There are so many things that j isn't doing that makes me discouraged. I think about it constantly. Why does he look at me when I talk to him like he has no idea what's going on? Why can't he eat solids well? Why isn't he holding his bottle on his own yet? Why can't he roll from belly to back? Why won't he put weight on his arms to start crawling? Why does he space out so much? I could go on and on. It's an obsession, ha.

    Like Becca said, unsubscribe! As soon as we found out j MIGHT have Ds, I did. I didn't want that constant reminder that he's not doing about a million things that "normal" kids are. It only made me even more depressed and I didn't need that. Neither do you. I don't look at anything anymore, even other kids, ha.

    But I'm not going to say he'll get there, just keep working with him, blah blah. You already know all of that. When people say it to me, I appreciate it, but I KNOW. I know he's not going to be 16 and not feeding himself (hopfully! lol) but I want to be discouraged now. Well, I don't WANT to be, but it makes me feel better to cry, to pout, to get frustrated. I think we're allowed to. That doesn't mean give up, but I do know that when he's ready, he will. He's proven that to me already a few times. One day I tried to get him to sit up, and he'd fall over. Literally the next day, I tried again and he did it. Like he'd been doing it for weeks. He's so weird when he learns things.

    Ah, I'm rambling...but like I said...I agree with getting rid of charts and emails. It's okay to be sad. For her, for you. HUGS!!!

  6. For me the disappointment bug comes around whenever we have appointments or evaluations. Like Gemma's Dr. said, "we know at some point she will show a delay". Hmphh, as mothers, we all see our babies as perfection, which they are...then someone comes along and says they aren't. These people don't mean to kick us in the guts, but just the same they burst our fragile Mommy bubbles. Eslea is a beautiful little girl who has already overcome a hurdle greater than most adults with her surgery. What she lacks in physical strength, she certainly has in strength of spirit! I love how much having a baby with Down syndrome makes me evaluate myself and what matters. It is okay to feel disappointed, it doesn't lessen your love. I struggle all the time to just let myself enjoy everything and not let all of societies pressures to fit in creep up and put a hole in my bubble. Remember, once she's up running and getting in to all the mischief she can find you will look back and wonder what the hurry was!
    BTW....Band of Angels has a specific 18 month calendar for babies with Down syndrome that you should put up in place of those venomous "typical baby" charts!!

  7. Honestly, what helps me is I just quit looking at the ages and stages of other kids. If you follow a blog or read things that promote bragging, stay away from them or visit cautiously (that is what I do). ALSO, it is absolutely true that she will be more advanced in something that another kid with Ds will struggle with. I have seen it...and therefore just do not think about it (okay, today anyways!!!)