So today I went to the store with Emmy. It was one of her first outings in awhile because she was sick last week. Anyway, when we arrived at the store there was a lady there from church. She asked me some casual questions about Emmy and then of course if Emmy was walking yet. I told her the exciting news…that Emmy can walk about 3 or 4 steps in her new braces and is starting to push up off the group (like tripod pose). Then the lady asked “and how old is she?” I replied that she is 20 months and told her that we were working with the physical therapist. She said that her granddaughter was doing the same thing. So I said “then you know what it is like”.
She then proceeded to tell me that her granddaughter’s difficulties were because her daughter-in-law was just not good at stimulating her children and if she was more motherly her daughter would be walking. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She also said that her daughter-in-law had low amniotic fluid when she was pregnant and a difficult birth and that she uses that as a crutch to justify the fact that her daughter can’t walk. Then she went on to say that her grandson had speech delays because her daughter-in-law was not nurturing enough. THEN she went on to say something about autism being linked with unmotherliness. After I waked away I was so upset it took me 10 minutes to remember what I even needed at the store in the first place! (It was Pedialyte and bananas, by the way.)
SO, I decided I would use my blog as a soapbox against this kind of thinking. I hope she didn’t think the same things about me. I don’t know her daughter-in-law but I feel really sad for her that her mother-in-law would say those things. I’m sure she is going through enough without her family pointing fingers. I know some of the people who read this blog also have children, like Emmy, who are struggling with different things like reading, walking, eating, talking, etc. And I know that you are all devoted to helping your children grow and learn. I just think that it is impossible to know a situation unless you are in it and sometimes while it seems easier to blame someone when something is not perfect…many situations just happen and it’s not because of lacking parents.
It’s easy to think that A+B=C but that’s just not always the case. A ton of parents don’t do A and B and still get C. And some of us are doing A and B every day and just pray that C will happen for our children. We just have to remember that no two kids are alike. They all have their own timeframes and strengths. I wish I had enough courage to say something to this lady today but I didn’t want to step in on her family stuff. So instead, I am asking anyone who reads this to help spread the word that autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and so on are all REAL things and that they are NOT triggered by bad parenting! So while some people may see Emmy as being disabled I think she is a miracle! Given her traumatic start things could have been so much harder for her but she is so smart and funny and I know in time she will walk. She is the happiest kid I know! And here is a picture to prove all of that! 🙂 (I will now step down from the soapbox and return to our regularly scheduled program)