Sunday, July 25, 2010
Special-needs parent epiphany #356,972: It's OK to enjoy the lingering baby-ness
Max has two new friends: Max and Ruby, of the TV show fame. We were in an ice-cream store this weekend and they had a whole bunch of cuddly creatures for kids and their sucker parents. I hadn't known Max likes the show so much—he sometimes watches it in the morning—but he grabbed Max and Ruby, and made a dash for the door. We caught him before he could start a life of crime.
"Max, we have to pay!" I said, and he nodded, gleefully. How could this sucker parent say no? I was actually thrilled to see him using his right hand, his weaker one, holding a toy. Also, Ruby and Max were better than the Plankton doll (of SpongeBob SquarePants fame) Sabrina originally wanted; she settled for Silly Bandz.
As Max wandered down the street, I noticed a few people staring. The dolls definitely made Max look a little baby-like. In the car, he started babbling at Ruby and Max. We had no idea what he was saying to them—most likely, it wasn't "I totally intend to pay back Mommy and Daddy for the ridiculous amount you cost!"—but I didn't care. I loved hearing Max using his voice, playing with sounds and powering up his imagination.
At home, the Ruby and Max and Max lovefest continued. He propped them on pillows in the living room, he stuck them in trucks, he asked Dave to pretend to brush their teeth, he put them to bed.
What occurred to me, now that the kids are asleep and I have actual time to think, is how much cuteness I still get to enjoy with Max. When he was very young, I missed out on the babbling and playing with stuffed animals stages because back then, he couldn't enunciate many sounds or clutch things. I might not have fully appreciated them even if he had been able to do them; I was always so worried about what the future held for Max that I neglected to savor the yummy boy right in front of my face.
So I get to have these moments with Max now—and I fully intend to savor them. They may be infantile behaviors but they are signs of progress. And boy, are they cute.
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 11:31 PM