Oh Sunday nights how I loathe you. Due to forces beyond my control, this week will be my first full week of work since before Christmas and I have to tell you, I'm not looking forward to it. Ever since Tera was born, people in the Down Syndrome community, therapists, and Tom and I ourselves, have warned us not get caught up in the milestone race and just to enjoy our time with Tera. I feel we've done a pretty good job of this, but I won't lie, there are many times when I realize we haven't worked on a particular skill to help her. I feel that way more and more lately because there are so many more things we can be working on because every month the list of what she could be able to do, grows. Truthfully, I'm still not at all concerned about her progress, though when I see other kids her age able to do things she can't, I do recognize the emotions that go through me. Yes there are a lot of kids her age who may not be walking, or even crawling yet, but I won't ever know if it's something she wouldn't have done no matter what, or if it's because she's delayed. Again, it's not something that I experience often, but it does happen.
So back to one of the reasons it's difficult for me to deal with the fact that I'm working the whole five days this week. There are all these things we can do to work with Tera and I feel like during the week, we don't get to any of them because there's just no time. My big thing lately is trying to get her to drink from a straw, but we really can't practice that much during the week because her only two bottles at home are first thing in the morning and right before bed; neither of which are ideal times to practice. Yes we could practice at other times with liquids other than formula, but even that's hard to find time to do between feeding her dinner, us eating, and just letting her play. We're also supposed to be helping her kneel, to get the feel of what it's like to be on her knees, and that rarely happens. She's becoming a really sturdy sitter, but she still can't get from sitting to laying or vice versa and I keep forgetting to help her transition when she moves from one to the other and instead I just move her. It always comes down to time and there just never seems to be enough of it. I don't often feel guilty for having her in daycare because I really think she gets a lot out of it and she really seems to enjoy it, but when I realize I don't have to the time to work with her on skills, that's when I feel guilty.
She's also reaching the age where we actually have to "parent". Up until now our job has basically been to make sure she's fed, clean, and clothed. But now we're entering the phase where we actually have to start thinking about how we handle situations and, gasp, wait for it, discipline...She's quickly becoming very determined (substitute word for borderline stubborn) and we need to make sure she doesn't become one of those irritating kids other adults don't like because they aren't well behaved (though it seems hard to believe that would even be possible when she smiles her sweet smile at you). Yes I may be overreacting since she's only 11 months old, but bad habits start at some point and I would like to be responsible and curb those behaviors before they start, instead of trying to figure out how to fix them later.
Basically what I'm thinking is this is about to get harder fast. The one thing I know I can depend on to get me through this is that guy that Tera so affectionately refers to all the time: dadadadadadada. I know he will keep me grounded and support me in making the right decisions for our girl. I'm excited, and very, very, very, nervous about this next chapter...