Recently, Jordan and I have taken a step back and evaluated some important aspects of our lives, primarily Asher's therapy.
First off, let me reiterate that we are still incredibly thankful for the therapy we receive. We are truly blessed that we have someone coming to see Asher in our home, at least once a week, giving us exercises, toys, feeding implements and various other gear to make his life easier. The ladies on his team are angels and we can't thank them enough.
It's how we ourselves have been treating his therapy that we have re-evaluated. From day one, his PT told us not to put too much pressure on ourselves - to only fit his therapy in when it worked and if some days that meant not at all, so be it; to always remember we are busy with two other kids, and forgive ourselves that often times it's just about getting through the day. Our entire team has complimented us repeatedly on what a good job we are doing with him, and how much we get it, yet I have never really believed it.
In my mind, I have never done enough. Any moment that I am not otherwise engaged with Nolan or Rio, I should be down on the floor with Asher. I shouldn't take any time doing silly things like housework, updating the blog, or worse, checking facebook, I should be completely focussed on him. Any "me" time should come when the kids are sleeping and ONLY when the kids are sleeping. Needless to say I don't live up to my own standards, and that is a lot of guilt to carry.
But recently, we have come to the realization that if Asher isn't doing therapy every waking moment of the day, that's ok. He works SO DAMN HARD at everything he does, it's ok to let him just "be" sometimes. I think the moment of clarity really happened when my very wise friend pointedly asked me why we were working so hard on teaching Asher (and Nolan) to spoon feed themselves at only 13 months of age, when "typical" babies, wouldn't master that skill for months yet. A light bulb went off in my head and I asked myself what all the rush was.
They're not meeting some of their milestones, so what. Nolan is getting there, most of the time right on track (ok so he didn't sit till 12 months corrected - he's there now!). Asher may never meet some of his milestones, but that's just the way it is. As much as therapy helps, I can't continue to beat myself up over what the boys, or me, should or should not be doing.
So suddenly, it's become ok that both boys still bottle feed and aren't ready to take their milk in a sippy cup; it's ok that we put Asher in the forbidden exersaucer (the worry is that it will increase his leg tone) for 10 minutes a day because he LOVES it and uses his otherwise awkward arms sooo well when he is in it; it's ok if we don't make either of the boys eat with a spoon...yet.
It's all ok because they are still babies. These are the last babies we are going to have, and considering we got completely shafted on the first five months of their lives, we're not in any hurry to turn them into little boys before we can milk the baby stage as long as humanly possible.
This realization has taken nearly a year to come to, but it feels good. I can't say it doesn't still come without guilt, but at least I am now accepting of the fact that I just want to let them be babies, and there is nothing wrong with that. We will continue to embrace every therapy we have available to us, but hopefully let go of some of the guilt around it.