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October 24, 2011 / daryleverett

Let’s be normal today. OK? {one mommie’s struggle with uniqueness}

Toddler boy crying

Ever have those days (okay weeks or months for me) when you start wondering why your kid can’t just do what all the other kids his age are doing?

“For once can we please just be normal?” your mind begs.

I seems to be having a lot of those lately.

“Why can’t you stay in the nursery like the other kids without decorating the workers with your last 3 meals?”

“Why can’t you sit still in church and play with your toys?”

“Why can’t you tell me before  you pee?”

“Why do I need to hold you right now? I’m trying to do something with both hands.”

As a kid, I asked a lot of questions. As a mother I do the same, but these questions really are unfair, I think, for me to ask.

I majored in Special Education in college and advocating for children is one of my great passions. I have spent countless hours explaining to parents and others that we are all different and shouldn’t be expected to learn at the same pace nor will be all be able to perform equally well in all areas.  I embrace the idea that we shouldn’t compare our children to others to determine their worth; that their differences aren’t to be seem as deficits but as pieces of their unique masterpieces. “Who cares how old he is when he is in that grade? What matters is that he understands and is able to build his skills to be able to flourish at what he’s good at and get along in life in everything else. Society needs to understand we aren’t all the same and we are good at different things.” These are the words that pass my lips, again and again.

“Wait,” you say, “aren’t you the mom who wants her son to be like everyone else?”

BINGO

That’s what hit me this morning as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. I’ve been getting frustrated because my son, who isn’t yet 2 years old, has stopped telling me he needs to pee when all of his friends are just starting to learn to tell their parents.  Maybe I have some room for complain, right? What if I told you that I can’t remember the last time I changed a poopy diaper and that in the past year I’m almost certain I have changed fewer than 20. Not because my husband does it for me. Simply because my son tells me he needs to potty and usually holds it until we get to the toilet (even if that means driving 20 miles home at 10 months old while crying).

We’ve been diaper-free at night for about eight months and only about twice a month is there an accident. Sometimes more and sometimes less. (We went about 3 months with none at all)

He uses almost as many signs as he does words, so the level of understanding in our home is pretty high making tantrums rare. Crying spells…okay we have those daily but a real tantrum because of  lack of understanding is rare.

Normal?

You know, we have averages and as a society we tend to measure everyone and everything against them, forgetting that in order to have an average there must be people and things on both sides of average. That doesn’t make them less valuable or more lovable. It makes us diverse. It makes them unique with strengths and weaknesses.

Overall, I think I’ve got it pretty good with the kid. Now if his mom would just learn to practice what she preaches!

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For more information on how we have so few poopy diapers checkout Elimination Communication (EC) resources online.

PartTimeDiaperFree (7 steps to gradually reduce your need for diapers)

BornReady

EC Simplified (Blog with great practical info)

I think the best I have found is this discussion group on Yahoo.

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