O is for Overreacting

The other morning I was enjoying the few peaceful minutes where Caroline is napping and Little Evan is re-discovering all his toys (look! blocks! look! cars! look! empty yogurt container! omg I haven’t seen these toys in forever! or at least 12 hours!) while I skim blogs and think about all the other, more productive stuff I should be doing when I felt a tug on my leg. It was Little Evan, holding one of his alphabet flashcards and pointing at it urgently.

“That’s V, veeeeeeee, V for violin!” I said, “Violins play music!” and I signed music. He looked at it the picture on the card so intensely I started to get a little worried. Why is he so interested in that violin? Maybe he wants to play the violin. Maybe I should get him a violin and sign him up for lessons. Do they offer music lessons for 2 year olds? Of course they do. Wasn’t Tiger Woods already golfing by 2? Am I stifling my child’s musical genius because I haven’t provided him with the world’s tiniest violin and 12 hours a week of lessons and now I am the Worst Mother Ever and he will never live up to his potential???

I’ve been having some anxiety about Little Evan’s development lately.

It’s mostly just the age, I think. So much happens so fast in the first few years it’s sometimes hard to remember the levels of normal can swing widely. Especially now that potty training is rampant among our 2-year old age group. It seems like SUCH an advanced skill, and one that requires so much parental involvement – at least for a while – that I worry I’m failing my child somehow by not doing more to encourage it.

I feel the same way about pretty much everything. Talking. Motor skills. Imagination. Socialization. Teaching him letters and numbers and colors and shapes and animals and please and thank you and no hitting and inside voices and hold mommy’s hand in the parking lot. So far we have mastered…none of those. Not a one. There’s so much responsibility it gets overwhelming and I just want to go lie down and take a nap.

Hey, at least Evan’s good at that.

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15 Responses to “O is for Overreacting”

  1. Skipper says:

    When you’re in this place, a little solidarity can help. I’ve been there. I feel you. If you are genuinely worried about his (maybe, I have no idea) delayed speech, you can contact your state’s Birth-to-Three coordinator and get an evaluation and possibly free speech therapy. In most states, this service is widely used by a variety of children with both large and small delays and risks- for example, I think any child born premature qualifies for preventative therapy in some states. It’s not a big deal, but can be helpful. I know a couple of four year olds who used this service at around two and now are perfectly fluent. If you are concerned about (maybe, I have no idea) delayed motor skills you can get an Occupational Therapy evaluation. If you have global developmental delay concerns, you make an appointment with a developmental pediatrician. If you love your regular pediatrician, make a well child appointment child to talk about development. If you don’t love them, don’t ignore your concerns, you don’t need their approval to access other services.

    I know that these things balloon in our minds until Googling “developmental delay” late into the night seems like an awesome idea. It’s not. I know because this winter I went through the same thing with my three year old. As it turns out, she does have some delays that are worth addressing, but other areas where she is vastly ahead. I don’t want to discount your concerns- you know your child best- but it’s good to remember that child development works on a range of normal. That different children do things at different times. That within one child, development can be uneven. That emerging personalities also determine how children develop. And that your child is still very, very young. He’s not even two. Proper socializing, following multi-step directions, tricycle riding and potty training can be a long way off and still pretty normal.

    I remember in a previous post that you said you had no concerns about his *understanding* language, just his *producing* language. That’s a very good sign. You would be much more concerned if it were the other way around.

    We are FB friends, and you can message me if you have questions or want to talk about developmental delays. I know you have lots of (close, and real life friends) that you can discuss this with, but if you think my experience might match up with yours, then I’m happy to chat. Having someone who’s been through it helps.

    Also, your kids are adorable. And you are a great mother. And they will be fine.

  2. Swistle says:

    “There‚Äôs so much responsibility it gets overwhelming and I just want to go lie down and take a nap.”—Ug, I feel JUST like this right now. I feel like I’m just totally dropping the ball on EVERYTHING and my children will grow up to be cave men who can’t cook or do laundry, and they won’t know how to take a shower or wash their hair, and they’ll learn all about sex from classmates who will give them the wrong story, and they won’t know how to handle money, and they will run RIGHT OUT into the street. Gah.

  3. becca says:

    aw, deep breath, mama! take one thing at a time; anything grouped like that will overwhelm even the toughest people. and potty training? dude, our guy has showed absolutely no interest in it yet, and that’s something i most definitely don’t want to rush into. they don’t start pushing it at our daycare until they’re 2 anyway (mostly because the infant part of daycare has no toilets in each room). it’ll all come to evan when it needs to. promise. and? you’re an awesome mama. try not to worry :)

  4. Sarah-Anne says:

    i’m seconding {is that a word?!} becca’s comment: take a deep breath. seriously. :)

  5. cakeburnette says:

    Just wanted to jump on the “comforting you” bandwagon! Just from my perspective (which is admittedly just as a regular reader), Little Evan is JUST FINE. He appears from your posts and pictures to be very similar to my guy–very advance in the physical areas, and maybe less so in the verbal/socialization areas. Austin used to SIT ON EVERY CHILD SMALLER THAN HIM when he was Evan’s age. At 14, he now almost never sits on folks. hee,hee! And no matter what happens with the potty-training, let me just share that if my daughter:Caroline and Austin:Evan, Caroline will potty-train first. No lie. So whenever you get frustrated in the potty-training, take a deep breath and tell yourself, “At least I’m better at this than cakeburnette was!” (Austin was almost 7 before we got him fully potty-trained.) Since we actually survived that nightmare, I feel that God wants me to share my story to make other women feel better about their Mommy-skills. HAHAHAHAHAH!

  6. Other Erin says:

    I didn’t start talking until I was well over 2. Maybe it’s because it was the 80s but when my mom brought it up to the doctor, he said “Eh, she’ll talk when she’s ready.” And then I taught myself to read by watching Sesame Street when I was 4. There is NO WAY for you to know what a current delay or success means for the next goal so there is no point fretting about it – just keep going.

    Timetables for developmental things are usually midpoints of very, very wide ranges so try not to focus too much if your kids don’t hit them on the nose – they will get there and doing it at their own pace will probably make everyone happier.

    You are doing a great job so relax. :)

    • cakeburnette says:

      Yep. Other Erin is exactly right. Boy who didnt potty-train until he was almost 7 taught himself to read at 3. Hubby and I would’ve traded in a whole TON of early reading for some early (or even reasonably-timed) potty-training. :\

  7. I was having the most ridiculous conversation with my husband the other day and we were trying to figure out what Spencer was “good at” and if he had any “special skills” that we should be encouraging. And then we stopped for a sec and realized that he is 19 months. He is fine. It is ok if he only catches 20% of the time and prefers to eat crayons.

    And all the potty training chatter that is going on is giving me hives. Spencer shows no interest in it whatsoever and I have heard it is much worse with boys than girls.

  8. TMae says:

    We watched a video on You Tube last night of a (purported) 18month old singing her ABCs and we said, “Noooo…she can’t be 18 months….there’s no way….” because our 18 month old? Is still experimenting with “momma” and “dada”.

    I have to step off the wheel a LOT. Force myself to back away. I will go batshit insane otherwise. Our kids are fine. They’re good! They’re awesome! We’re meeting their needs.

  9. Kimberly says:

    I hear you! JD doesn’t say much at all, and I get nervous about it. And I totally freak out at the end of the day if I realize I haven’t done flashcards/read a book/offer the potty/practice sharing/explain gravity. OMG I’m a bad mom. But he is happy and healthy & the doctor says he is on track, so I’m also going to take the “take a deep breath” advice. And if you thought little Evan’s development was fast the last couple years, Caroline’s will seem to fly by! O is rolling constantly now, and although I know it’s normal for his age, I feel like he is WAY too young and growing up WAY too fast! I want JD to hurry up and start talking, and I want O to stay my little baby forever.

  10. Brigid Keely says:

    Kid worries are the worst, aren’t they? You worry too much over nothing, you miss a big thing, it’s all hard.

    I’m not going to worry about Niko being potty trained unless he’s 4 and still in diapers.

    • cakeburnette says:

      *sheepishly raises hand* Technically they were pull-ups. But he WAS completely potty-trained by middle school! LOL

  11. merin says:

    I totally agree with everything everyone above has said. FYI-as you know I am really concerned about Cora’s speech. We had Birth to Three here on Wednesday and she only has a mild delay (thus not qualifying her for services). And I can tell you that Evan is considerably more advanced than her with his expressive speech by just watching your videos, if that makes you feel any better!

    Potty training? You MUST be kidding. Our potties are the best hiding spots for puppets, loose change, dust bunnies…pretty much everything but poo and pee. If “potty training” means “flushing the toilet” we are doing so awesome!! Evan is still pretty young-maybe you should just wait for Caroline to catch up!!

  12. merin says:

    PS-if you are worried about what you are feeding little E, this should make you feel better: Cora just had a freezer-burnt hot dog and airplane crackers for dinner. And by airplane I don’t mean “cute healthy cheesy crackers shaped like airplanes,” I mean the crackers my mom and dad left here from their last plane trip.

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