Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Drive by parenting

I took Cooper to story time at the library this morning. After the stories, he was crawling around in the bean bag area and one of the other moms looked at him and said, "You need to learn to walk." I'm not sure how to respond to comments like that yet. I'm still new to this land of having a child who is officially delayed.

That's right, Cooper has a delay. He has a gross motor skills delay. He's almost 18 months old and can't walk or stand independently. I've spent the last month in and out of medical offices and hospitals of one flavor or another getting various assessments and procedures done, and at this point am looking forward to weekly physical therapy appointments for the foreseeable future, a major surgery, wanting to sue my pediatrician for malpractice, finding a new pediatrician, and trying to cope with my baby going under general anesthesia again, this time for major abdominal surgery. That minor problem he was born with that his pediatrician seemed so unconcerned about for so long has contributed to a major gross motor delay, and left Ben lagging further and further behind where he should be, and now I have mothers at story time looking at my baby judgmentally and telling him he needs to learn to walk.

I don't know why this is okay. I'm not sure why when it comes to parenting it's okay to comment on someone else's abilities. I wouldn't walk by someone's desk at work and say "You need to learn how to type faster." I wouldn't tell the check-out boy at a grocery store, "You need to learn how to bag groceries better." Why would you tell a child that they aren't performing adequately? I know he needs to learn to walk, but giving me, or even worse, my baby, the stink eye, is not going to help the matter. So, mothers of all you perfect children out there, why don't you do the rest of us all a favor, and just shut up? Trust me, we're doing the best we can. The daily climb up life's mountain is hard enough as it is without you dumping bricks of hate in the diaper bag. Thanks. Love and kisses.


Ken and Belly said...

Cooper is perfectly wonderful. Period. I'm sure.

I don't understand that kind of meanness. I'm sorry it tainted what should have been a lovely visit to the library.

(I've never come across my blog on an unfamilliar blogroll before-- I'm all a twitter now! :) Nice to meet you!

EmmaNadine said...

I can't remember how I found you, but I'm the same dissertating-while-mama phase you are in, and I sympathize with a lot of your stories.

Anonymous said...

ehhhhnnn. people.

My BFF's kid just started to walk at 18 months, didn't roll over until 8 mo. he also had glasses at like 6 mo to correct a crossing eye. she got all sorts of comments, ranging from the stupid (Yer baby must be really smart! He has glasses! Can he read?) to the downright offensive (how did you first know your baby was retarded?). All of which is to say, I haven't been through but I have been adjacent to it and I know how stupid people can be. That sucks and I'm sorry.

Eve said...

I just saw this after reading your beautiful political post (which I thoroughly enjoyed).

*hugs* for having to deal with the snark from the rude lady at the library... I would have had a hard time not biting her head off/drowning her in sarcasm/giving the stink eye right back. I dunno what makes these people feel so comfortable about being so rude and sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. But Cooper is learning well from you to just take it in stride and quietly and determinedly keep on the upward swing. Yay on the first steps! Now is the time to bolt everything down because before you know it he will be into everything. ;)


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