Wednesday, July 1, 2015

a late bloomer

My son didn't crawl until right before his first birthday.  He didn't walk for a few more months after that.  His speech has been slower to develop than other kids his age (sometimes I feel like I'm 50% mother, 50% translator).  He still sleeps happily in his crib. He wasn't potty trained at 18 months.  At 3, he doesn't count to 50 or cook meals or spell his name.  He's starting to string together some pretty funny sentences, he sleeps through the night, and he is a happy guy.  Every time I meet with our pediatrician, I'm assured that he's a healthy, normal kid meeting his milestones on his own time.

I've had to be careful about the things I read too much of on the internet.  I've been good about unfollowing fitness accounts that make me feel terrible about my body, which is strong and pretty and does not deserve harsh criticism.  I remove hateful, close-minded political ranters from my feed because they leave me upset for hours.  But moms are tricky.  I always read Instagram and Facebook posts with a laundry list of academic and developmental milestones that people's kids are reaching that aren't anywhere close to what my kid is doing.  They make me worry when I never would have otherwise.  Is he dumb? Is he delayed? Am I not doing enough?  And then I feel terrible for thinking that about my beautiful, funny, quirky, clever son!

I know everyone is proud of what their kids do, and I try to remember they're not trying to act snotty about it.  So much of this is just me being sensitive because I'm a worrier. I will never understand the race to have our babies grow up so fast. I see so many moms rushing to get them on the toilet, out of the crib, off the boob, and I think...why?  What's wrong with a baby?

I don't know, I opened this post to write about potty training and got sidetracked.  But we did it!  Joony potty trained in less than a week and I'm so proud, but I worried that writing about it might make someone who's struggling through accidents and tantrums sad.  I don't want anyone to worry about where their kid is at right this moment. I have a late bloomer in every area, and it's taught me to enjoy every stage for as long as it lasts, and it's been a real exercise in minding my own business. In being happy for someone else and happy for myself at the same time.
So potty training: we didn't even try until after his third birthday, and I'm so glad because he was ready then, but not before.  Once again, late bloomer.  There were no power struggles.  Not even any huge accidents (except for one memorable turd in our backyard).  He holds it and goes when it's time.  I'm so proud of him I could burst, and when I say "Joony, I am so proud of you!" he beams and hugs my leg and laughs "Yeah! Yeah, mom! I fo poud of you!" I had anxiety for weeks about starting this process. I stressed and cried and fretted and read ridiculous articles with titles like "Potty Train in ONE DAY With This Simple Trick!" In the end, I didn't use any secret Pinterest tricks or formulas.  We did it our way, on our own time, and it felt so good.  And it's done!  We did it!  The fact that it was kind of a non-issue in our home, that we were even able to have some fun with it, felt like a big, fat miracle.  I felt like a good mom.  I'm proud of that.

(...and if you're offended by pictures of kids on toilets, well, you can just suck it)


  1. Thank you so much for this post! You ARE a great mom and you have a wonderful little man, I always enjoy reading your posts. This post didn't make me sad or worried that my 2 1/2 yr old is not potty trained yet, it made me feel more relaxed about the whole thing. I had been stressing about it, and yes, reading too many blogs, articles etc about potty training and was starting to feel pretty inadequate about the whole thing. But you have cheered me up and made me feel so much better about it all. Thank you x

  2. So happy to read a post like this! We were the same way with our son and attempting to keep up with the Pinterest mommies of the world is impossible! Stick to your guns and let your son show you he is ready--has been my go to motto since realizing that my son is too stubborn to care about my schedule ha!

  3. I cannot tell you how much I have pondered on these exact things. I love to keep up with my friends' facebook feeds and instagram accounts and blogs and see what they are doing. But, sometimes I feel like I'm stuck in a non-stop mommy competition. I write about my life on my blog for ME and my kids to enjoy in the future. I honestly am not writing to make anyone feel like I'm competing. But I'm CERTAIN I've made someone feel bad at some point... which is not what I'm trying to do at all. Since Beck is 21 months and still can't walk I try not to let my trigger button hit the roof when I see the cute facebook video of someone's 9 month old walking and how "amazing" he is. :( I know she's not trying to make me feel bad, and she's doesn't know that I just spent 1 hour with the OT talking about ways to get him walking and then cried that nothing has improved in a week... but it's still hard. It's just what you said, it's about being happy with your own life and where you are and celebrating other people for where they are as well. It's never going to be the same as someone else, and that's TOTALLY fine. I'm just flawed and need to be reminded of that sometimes.

    And WAHOOOOO for your little man. When they are potty trained you feel like a rockstar! Life gets so good. :) I wish I could hold on to EVERY PART of the baby phase... except diapers. :) Not a single one of my kids trained before 3, and that's not for lack of trying (at least with Claire). I fully admit I'm a terrible potty trainer and there's nothing in my parenting life that has made me feel more inadequate. I know it sounds dumb, but it's true. Isn't it nice though that something you dreaded turned out to be so great? I love it when that happens in parenting... it's just never happened for me with the toilet! LOL :)

  4. Good post! I am also going to write a blog post about this... thanks
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