It’s been so long since I’ve even logged into my blog. Imagine my delight when I typed in my user name and my password was remembered. Check box. Remember me. There’s so much going on lately. I can’t keep up. I have so much to share about Norah and Charlie. But I need to lead with a confession. I am overwhelmed. Being a mom of two is just so intense. Nothing ever gets completed, ever. It’s the same thing over and over day and night and it’s kicking my @ss. I know, it’s horrible to admit or complain. Other people deal with way more. People who have way less, deal with way more. The kids and I are amazingly supported by a loving husband/daddy as well as by our extended family. But, I’m just putting it out there. I am overwhelmed. And telling myself I have no right to feel this way hasn’t really kept me from feeling this way. So, I’m owning it but not harping. On to the better and brighter side of this journey. Norah and Charlie. Charlie and Norah.
I have to catch myself lately. I feel so very aware of the fairness of having two. The time devoted to each throughout the day. And Norah is an attention getter. She’s talking more every day. Her attention-getting techniques (good and bad) are better honed than her brother’s. But Charlie is NO slack in the attention-getting department. Jealousy is beginning to rear it’s ugly head. Competition can be a wonderful motivator. But as a parent you really do wonder in those moments if you’ve made each child understand how truly loved and appreciated they are as individuals. Even posting this I’m worried about paying too much or too little attention to each child’s accomplishments. Stu and I are both so intensely proud of both of our kids. Words will never express. We can only hope that they can feel it too.
Hard to grasp the fact that Charlie will be one in just a little over a month. For his first six months I was a bit concerned with his lack of movement. But, uh, that concern is GONE. There is no stopping him now. When we went to the beach just a month ago Charlie began a true crawl. The next week he perfected it and is so quick now. But what really threw us is that Charlie then began cruising, climbing and standing independently (for a few seconds) nearly immediately. He is SO hooked on the independence that he is working his tail off to keep up. You can often hear him grunting around the house. He is climbing the trampoline then standing, holding the bars and jumping. I did not imagine he would be doing so much so quickly and I’m ecstatic. Motivation is everything and Charlie has proven himself a very hard worker when motivated.
Speaking of the beach, Norah had a breakthrough moment the week after our vacation. Back at home we were talking about our beach trip with Norah’s speech therapist. I was naming people who were with us, when, from across the room, Norah added to my list, “Donald” she said, as I paused to remember. This was the first real indication we’ve seen that Norah understands when we’re talking about a past event. I was floored. I really feel like I can’t even articulate how major this feels. We do so much talking about future and past and tying it all together. But that is very abstract for any child. To see her “get it” was such a triumph.
Today we had new questionnaires to answer for the research study Norah participates in regarding Williams Syndrome and language development. Why? Because Norah has begun to string two words together. You probably remember that Norah has been saying “I love you”. Heck, she’s been saying entire lines of songs. “No more monkeys” But phrases like that, while she may understand the context and sentiment, are really one word until we can truly say she understands each word individually and is stringing them together independently. And then there’s the two words but not really together stage. “Hi” pause “Daddy”. But just over the last few days the words are combining more seamlessly and naturally. “Hi daddy!” “More cookie.” “Go outside.” “More cookie. More cookie. More cookie. More cookie. ” 😉 Now mama’s gonna string three together for my Norah Bug. You go girl!!!!! I just LOVE her sweet little voice.
And speaking of sweet voices. Charlie is joining in the household chatter. He will, hilariously, grab a folded item of clothing from the laundry basket and before his hand has made it to the edge he’s saying “uh oh”. It reminds me a little of the I can’t help myself and what’s about to happen “uh oh” you might hear from an adult who’s being overcome by the need to dance an embarrassing dance because the music is that good. “Uh oh”, this neatly folded shirt is compelling me to mess it up and throw it onto the floor.
Charlie’s naming things, “ball”, “car”. He has an adorable and enthusiastic bear growl, and doggie bark “ah ah ah ah”. He’s clumsily throwing a ball. Pushing a box across the room like a walker. Copying me drawing on the chalk board. Releasing items in the bucket for clean up. He is just so AMAZING to watch. And it’s all happening so freaking fast that I’m certain I’m forgetting something.
I want to come to terms with the fact that it makes me hurt a little for Norah to see him develop typically. We knew Norah was working hard but I certainly didn’t appreciate how easy it seems for a neurotypical child. I didn’t appreciate how little you had to intervene. But, again, I want to come to terms because I want to just relish who they are and not get bogged down in the comparisons.
We are discovering how we all work together as a family. It’s exhausting, humbling, rewarding. It’s a work in progress. It’s forever that, I guess. But I am so proud of my family. Stu, who shoulders so much and complains so little. Who loves me and is patient and kind even when I cannot muster a smile for him. Norah, who is a bright light to all who know her, who is obedient, who is curious, who is resilient. Charlie, who is funny and smart, who is sweet face nuzzles, who is strong and sturdy, who is confident and assertive. I, who am working myself to the bone to yield a neglected marriage, unhappy kids and an unkempt house. Okay, that’ a little dramatic, but only a little. I’m open, as always, to advice. How do you do it, mama’s? What gives? Because something’s got to.