In addition to Thomas, my husband and I also have three girls. They are each amazing in their own way. They are also typical children meaning not special needs. The oldest is Alyssa then Daniella and finally Samantha.
Alyssa was the child who introduced us to what it was like to have a typical child. She met every developmental milestone by the book. Honestly it was as if she read the book. I thanked God for her every day and marveled at her doing what she was supposed to do developmentally. It wasn’t like that with Thomas. I was a nervous wreck with him as he met his milestones either on the very late end of “normal” or just plain late. Alyssa was also a relatively easy going baby/toddler.
Daniella was incredibly sweet. She was always smiling and you couldn’t help but laugh when you held her. I was less nervous about when who did what at what age by this time. I do remember Daniella walking earlier than Alyssa. We just moved into our current home when I was literally 9 months pregnant with Daniella. Everyone kept telling me to “not do this/not do that” when we were moving, but I had to pack and unpack man! Not to mention the nesting at that time. Please. Daniella was my easiest delivery, I credit all the time I did cleaning on my hands and knees. Thomas was almost 5 yrs old when Daniella was born.
Samantha. Ahhh Samantha. Samantha is our last but definitely not the least. She is the one God gave me after 2 miscarriages; one after another. The time of our losses was definitely one of mourning and stress. I remember after the 2nd loss I woke up the next day and just carried on like nothing happened. Not good. I didn’t mourn until 2 weeks past the actual loss. But getting back to Samantha. She was our biggest at birth and I would say she is our biggest challenge personality wise of our 3 girls. She definitely has a stubborn streak and is probably the stereotype of the “youngest child”.
In some ways when Thomas was stable (IE: before med change) he could be easier than the girls. He was more fun to shop with as he wouldn’t be all that picky with his clothes. He would give simple “yes” or “no” answers when asked if he wanted say a shirt/pants. He is also sweet and kind. If you have girls who are into clothes you know the pain of shopping with them and being looked at as if you are the most fashion challenged person on this planet. That may sound like a complaint of my girls but it’s really not. What they do or did to me while shopping is wonderfully typical. Things like that keep me grounded as a mother and do provide a laugh or two when it’s over.
It’s funny as I always felt like I was living in 2 worlds when our kids were all young. I had Thomas and I was the mother of a special needs child. I adored the “Welcome to Holland story/poem (http://www.our-kids.org/Archives/Holland.html). The girls allowed me to “visit” the world of being a mother of typical children. I used to feel I was straddling two worlds. Not fitting completely into either. I remember going to every single parent teacher conference of Alyssa and Daniella. It was a new world to me at first and I loved it. With Thomas I had IEP meetings, speech, PT and OT eval’s and meetings. Parent teacher meetings were about IEP goals. It was different than the girls. Neither one was “better”. I learned so much being Thomas’ mother and I learned just as much being the girls’ mother. I say “learned” in the past tense because I’m referring to grade school years of the older three. I’m still learning and probably always will be.
These days I’m not worried about where I fit in. I have my Thomas and I have my girls. Sometimes they’re separate groups of children. All the time they are simply mine.