06 August 2017

More thoughts on developmental delay

It's strange, I've had two reoccurring dreams recently where I've dreamt Rohan has taken his first steps and said his first word (cuddle!) It felt so real and normal that I had to remind myself when I woke up that we're not quite there yet. It's frustrating because it just looks like it should be so easy (it's not, I know) and I have to try and stop myself comparing to how Theo was, or babies born nearly a year after him. I know he's doing amazingly well, and I'm so thankful for that, because we work hard with him so it's good to see some progress but sometimes it's just hard to stop yourself wondering.

He's still attempting his crawling, which is great, but it's definitely not as straight forward and linear as usual development. He seems to go back and forth with his abilities, one day doing well with moving (currently it seems he's favouring the commando style pulling himself along) and the next not so much. It's like every process is played in super slow motion, what would take a "normal" baby perhaps a few weeks to learn and progress takes Rohan months, if not nearly a year. So whilst his attempts at crawling are amazing, and believe me I'm over the moon, sometimes it's hard to remember that he still probably won't be properly crawling or moving before he's nearly two. It's hard because he's getting frustrated too.

I feel like I just want him to be able to join in more, we have to carry him or place him on the ground (and at 10kg+ this is getting pretty heavy!) and he's just so active, he doesn't want to be held, he wants to be on the ground, but when you get him there he just sort of gets stuck. He has to work so hard that he just gets tired, then frustrated, so we pick him up and then we start the whole process over again. I know that perhaps when he does eventually get moving I may be cursing and wishing for a time when it was easier to keep him in one place, but you know, grass is always greener!

I also find myself imagining what our daily scenes would look like if Rohan was following the "normal" development track. How would his and Theo's relationship be? Would he be able to join in more, climbing, racing around, speaking a few words and communicating more? Would they be able to play together more? I catch myself a lot of the time just thinking what would it be like if it all just went a different way, the way we had planned. What would our lives really look like. It just takes me back time and time again to the feeling of why us.

I longed for this baby for so long, and always slightly regretted not having children closer together. I think too often of how our lives would look if our miscarried baby had made it, how our days would be with a almost 2 and a half year old in them. How would Theo have been if he'd been made a brother a year earlier? I feel guilty for that, for not being able to give him a sibling sooner, or a sibling who could play with him more. That's not to say that they don't play together, because they do, and love each other dearly and I wouldn't change that. Theo gets so involved and is constantly talking about Rohan reaching his next 'target' and it's very sweet. But I do wonder at how much Theo realises that things are different, I wonder if he looks at other siblings and thinks that is how his life should look, or whether actually he just takes things for how they are and gets on with them. Maybe I should be doing this more?

I know we have so much to be thankful for too, that we have another child, that others suffer more and that our daily lives are thankfully pretty "normal" looking. But sometimes the what ifs just get the better of you.

01 August 2017

A family Summer tradition: Strawberry picking

I think we're now into our fourth year of Strawberry picking, and now Rohan's second. We accidentally chose a pretty hot day to visit once again, but that just seems to go hand in hand with the nostalgic feel of summer and fruit picking. So after filling out tummies with fish and chips at Chew Valley Lake we headed over to our local P.Y.O at Chosen Hill Farm.

The season was actually pretty early this year so we only just caught it and walking through the field you could smell the air was thick with the sweet and slightly sickly smell of ripe strawberries. Last year we started with the table strawberries and only discovered the field strawberries towards to end, so we decided to make a bee line for them first this year. Last year we also went a little crazy and ended up spending a little over what we intended, but it did mean we had plenty to make jam out of! So this year we were slightly more restrained and managed a respectable amount (plus one or two to taste on the way!) I also picked some blackcurrants to attempt to make my favourite flavoured jam, which I can assure you turned out really nicely!

I've got my fingers crossed that next year Rohan might be able to toddle his way through the rows and have a go at picking some himself. But for now I'm just happy to carry on the tradition, however it may look in the future!

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