I keep drawing lines in the sand. When one gets mussed, I draw another one. See, I am a firm believer that developmental milestones are different for each kid. That the range of "normal" is huge. Mr. Pants didn't really do all the rolling over that he was supposed to, he rolled over once and then must have realized that it was pretty boring to leave it at that so he just went straight to sitting up. I am not big on comparing the achievements of kiddos either. My niece is 6 weeks older than him and while she is talking up a storm, Mr. Pants is too. Just not in our native language. So because of this I didn't worry at all when by 18 months he wasn't repeating us, or imitating us or showing me where his nose was or saying "mama". Hell he wasn't even looking when you called him. Eye contact wasn't his forte. Especially if he was locked into doing something. I'm pretty sure a tree could have fallen in the living room and it still wouldn't get his attention.There were a few days when I started to think that maybe he couldn't hear. But one night while laying in bed, trying to get him to stop pushing his foot into my face and settle enough to to go to sleep, he finally began to drift off. Until a dog started to bark outside...."dog? dog? dog?". Yep, he could hear. Damn dog. So as the months went by and he still wasn't talking, I admit that I started to worry. And I started calling out for some help.
We've been on this journey for a few months now. Mr. Pants has been evaluated and started an early intervention pre-school. He's been screened and tested by therapists and doctors and specialists. I've gone in and out of fear, sadness, anger, stress and doubt and I've come to an understanding. My boy is awesome. See, I already knew this. But I had started to forget. I let myself be consumed with the what ifs and the oh my gods and stopped thinking about how he lights up my life like no one ever has. In a few weeks we will begin the testing to see if the little dude falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. And he might, but he also might not. So I'm done being sad about it. No matter what the outcome. Because he's already got the skills that I want him to have. As I watched him yesterday entertaining his baby sister by jumping naked through the room and smiling when she smiled, I KNEW he'd be ok. For me the scariest part of Autism is that some kids can not be social or comfortable with emotion. Mr. Pants gives emotion like he's rehearsing for his Tony Award. He is loving and happy. He is funny and yeah, a little bizzare, but so are his parents. There have been so many things that he has already figured out. He used to cry when his bare feet touched the grass. Two days ago he rolled naked on the grass in the back yard squealing and laughing. He REALLY did.not.like.sand. Last week, he was rubbing sand in his hair at the playground to the great dismay of Daddy Pants. He used to cry when he danced, as though it scared him. Well, dancing is pretty big in this house and he now dances like a pro. He used to be terrified of swinging. It was one of the big no no's. The baby swing gathered dust in the basement. But now, he's wild about them. He throws his head back and laughs and laughs. I could go on and on. He's figured all of these things out. And he will keep figuring it all out. I no longer have doubt about that.
So now I have a new line in the sand. That it's going to be ok. No matter what the tests show. It's just going to be ok. Pants is still the same whacky hysterical kid he was before we started all of this. We just might have the opportunity to understand him a little better. And no matter what happens, If the line gets mussed, I'm gonna re-draw it. The same one. everytime. He's going to be ok. And seriously, so far it looks like chill, level headed Ms. Plum is the odd ball in this family.