but also in
I'm devoting it all to my wonder girl this week.
Eventually, I was able to use a skill with Maggie that I had developed as a teacher. I had to let go of all preconceived notions of child development and take Maggie exactly as she was. If other 18 month olds were talking, I couldn't even let that expectation even enter my mind for Maggie. (Unless she was showing signs of talking, of course, but she wasn't.) I had to let go of the idea that I could somehow advance the rate of her development and growth through education and exposure. And the pressure of my own anxiety, of course.
Maggie, and every child I've ever taught, moves at his or her own pace. I'm not saying education and exposure aren't important (because they are vitally important); I'm saying that they're not enough to change a child's natural developmental pace. The pace must be respected. There has to be some sort of glimmer, some sort of sign that the child is ready to learn a new skill, or it's a waste of everyone's time. And detrimental. Once that glimmer is there, though, go to it, have at it, hammer away!
I'm not actually saying I'm any good at this. Definitely not all the time. I have my moments.
Maggie's physical therapist (whose son I actually taught and who became a good friend) once said, "Sarah, she is learning. That's what's important." Even if the learning is behind the typical schedule, there is still learning going on. And, what I've found is, in time, Maggie ends up doing all the things other kids do. Just later. And, I have to think, so much sweeter for the wait. :)
I am thankful this week and always Maggie and her distinct personality:
2. Proving me wrong at the gymnastics studio after I told the instructor over and over that she would be nervous and probably not want to try out the equipment. She tried it all, almost without any hesitation.
3. Greeting visitors in our home or neighbors walking their dogs not terribly gracefully, but very politely, "What is your name?"
4. Hearing from her teacher that Maggie has a compliment for her (the teacher) every day. She might say, "That's a pretty pink shirt you are wearing." And then follow the compliment with a request for one herself:
"Did you see my blowm (brown) boots?"
"Do you like my pink star pants?"
"Did you see my timpint (Christmas) tree bow?"
5. Hearing, "MAGGIE DO IT!" when I absent-mindedly start a task (such as cutting or gluing) she considers her own.
6. Her great love of tracing letters and shapes.
7. Participating in conversations like this one while searching for a place to park in a parking garage:
|Birds of a pattern-mixing feather|
Me: My air? What does it smell like?
Maggie: Like fire, Mama. I am a parking place, Mama.
Me: A parking place, huh?
Maggie: I am a train, Mama.
or this one on a walk:
Maggie: I want to go home, Mama. My feet are davy (very) dizzy.
Me: Your feet are tired?
Maggie: Yes, my feet are davy dizzy.
8. Seeing her personality blossom in her fashion choices. OK, personal fashion preference may not be the most important of all skills I want to cultivate, but for a girl who is SO MUCH like her daddy, I love any kind of connection we share.
9. Seeing her teachers' confused faces when I asked about Maggie's timidity and anxiety level when she is at school. They've never seen her act timid or anxious. And hearing that they think she'd be better suited to the inclusion class, and they'd like to schedule an IEP meeting to move her to said class.
10. Dry nights!
Now hop on over to you TToT hosts (A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, Home On Deranged, I can say mama, I Want Backsies, Rewritten, Thankful Me, The Wakefield Doctrine) or FTSF hosts (Janine, Kate, Stephanie, or Kristi) and read more!