(You can catch up on G‘s story right here: A Third Baby, Fighting Panic, Connecticut to Oklahoma, You’ve Got the Job, The Birth Story, 95 Degrees, She struggles to breathe, I struggle to walk., The Liquid Diet, Not Enough Oxygen, Getting Out of There, Let’s Party!, Fitting Our Lives into a Minivan, Finding a Home)
Having our own house, outdated as it may be– brown shag carpeting, anyone?– was such a huge blessing to us. I know some people talk about how it takes them months to fully unpack or how they still have boxes out from a move that happened years ago, but that wasn’t me at all. I was a whirling dervish, getting one child to school in the morning, retrieving her, getting the other one sent off for the afternoon and caring for an infant all the while, but I didn’t once let that keep me from unpacking.
Within three days, every single box was unpacked, broken down, and the paper wrapping discarded.
I had a home.
Truly, the next several months were kind of unremarkable, as far as G. was concerned. But, in a very strange kind of way, that’s just what made her so remarkable for us.
I’ve told you all before– A. was a really big infant and he was on the late end for his milestones. While no one was particularly alarmed about that, it was certainly something I noticed and, until I pitched that dumb “What to Expect” book, fretted about from time to time.
It kind of goes without saying that C. was “delayed” when it comes to physical and speech development, too. Being born four months early will do that to a girl. She would be technically older than most of her peers before she would talk, walk, use utensils, etc. Of course, the fact that she did as well as she did was nothing short of amazing but, still, if we’re playing a sheer numbers game here– she was delayed.
It’s super important to me that I point out here that I don’t put too much stock in the value of hitting milestones early. I’ve known plenty of people who like to go on and on about their “genius babies” who were walking at six months or what-have-you. I’m not calling them liars or saying their babies aren’t smart– I’m just saying that I don’t think there’s any good reason to believe these “young achievers”( if you will ) are any more likely to excel in the future. I have good reason to feel this way– my “severely gifted” child? Was late on almost every milestone.
So, anyway, we were very used to having children who talked late, walked late, got first teeth late (not that that matters, really), etc, etc.
It is probably because of our past experiences that G. just seemed ahead of the curve (for us).
When her first tooth popped out at seven months? I was shocked. When she started eating all table foods (well, and nursing) at eight months? I was surprised. When she was babbling around and had recognizable words by ten months? I was delighted. When she was competently walking all over the house on her first birthday? It was something totally new to us.
So, as it turns out, through her first year of life, what was most remarkable about G. (other than her staggeringly huge blue-green eyes) was how rather UNremarkable her development was.
I consider myself very fortunate that I had a history that ensured I didn’t take that for granted.