When you have a child with a developmental delay, you are acutely aware of milestones. Now in my case, Ellie is my only child, so I'm not comparing her to older siblings, but I do seem to be much more up on my "random milestones no one else even knows about" than many of my friends whose children do not have special needs.
This can make me crazy, proud, frustrated, overjoyed, and at times, immensely thankful.
Yes, sometimes I am thankful when Ellie learns to do something she's been working on for ages. Other times, I'm thankful for milestones that arrived a little late.
For example, in an assessment:
Examiner: Can Ellie remove all of her clothes?
Me: I hope not! I tell her to stop when she tries.
Apparently, stripping is a two year old skill. Ellie is a bit delayed, as she can do pants but not shirts. I'm totally fine with that delay.
Ellie was also late to say the word "no," which I didn't mine one bit.
I have, however, been hoping that Ellie would use more phrases. Yesterday, I gave her the cookie part of an Oreo and heard a very clear, "Thank you cookie!"
Today, I again gave Ellie the cookie part of an Oreo. I said, "Ellie may have ONE cookie." That stinker looked me in the eye and said "TWO cookie."
Ellie also finally is big enough to crawl into her own wagon. And she can clip the "seatbelt" on the wagon.
She's tall enough to open every drawer in the house.
She's tall enough to reach Daddy's car keys and stash them in his bedside table.
My friend Cara recently touched on an idea in a post of hers - the thought of being thankful in hard times, even when we are not thankful for the hard times. At this point, I wouldn't call Ellie having Down syndrome a "hard time," just a fact of life. But sometimes, the results of her disability cause me to struggle. I want her to be able to do things. Today, though, I am thankful that this girl is learning, is progressing, and is growing in ways I might not have noticed if she didn't have an extra chromosome.
As long as we keep talking about cookies.