Light of mine

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“I GOT IT!”

Mom and I’s jaws both dropped. Did he really just say that? Our eyes glued to the transparent window while Holden had just fit a puzzle piece on the other side. It was his first sentence ever. In his speech therapy class on Monday.

His first sentence and it came at 26 months old. He has been slow to speak for some time. With speech therapy beginning last November, and having tubes put into his ears just last week as a last resort, it seems to be like we are finally turning the corner on his long road to verbal communication.

For some time now I had been thinking that his apprehension to talking came from being the only child- in a family of a lot of adults. Spoiled? Quite a bit. He so merely has to point to something, and one of the group is already running to get the object for our Little Prince. If I had a quarter for every time he muttered, “ga” and pointed to something, I’d be one luxurious lady. With no other kids around getting in the way, there has been zero competition for him to get what he wants from all of us adults. Additionally, most of us still speak to him in baby language. Thus, I concluded all this to be conducive evidence as to why he hadn’t begun speaking.

However, after meeting with the ENT pre-surgery, I do believe that the biggest contributor in Holden’s delayed speech has been the constant fluid and ear infections. So hopefully, we’re downhill from here. Could all of the overbearing spoiling have played a part too? Surely.

Though, Holden getting spoiled with attention brings up a big point in my parenting escapades. My family is overboard with love and affection. As am I, earlier I mentioned the urge to overcompensate to make him feel like nothing was missing. To make him feel valuable. But there’s a big difference in what I need to do for Holden vs. what everyone else does, because I’m the parent. I have to be the one to instill discipline, to teach right and wrong. Something that isn’t so easy to do these days when my baby is facing the corner for a timeout and screaming as if his world is ending.

{Discipline and love and affection. The two go hand-in-hand. I think I’m most like my dad, his dad, and his dad before that in trying to find a medium between the two. Poppie tells me the same story all the time about his own father, and what a great man he was. Any time he would discipline his children, whether verbally or a spank, he’d always make the kids kiss him afterwards- he was trying to get them to understand that his love for them was unconditional, and that they needed that love for him also. If I tried this strategy with Holden now, say after patting his bottom, he’d probably pat me right back on the face if I asked for a kiss! So maybe I’ll try that strategy later on.}

I’ve had to make sure Holden knows the difference between myself and everyone else. Mom has to mean business sometimes. But how much business is too much?

I try to be Supermom more than I’m capable of being sometimes. I’m so heavily focused on all the different parenting issues: discipline, love and affection, as well as any other parenting umbrellas. Cleanliness, order. I’m a head case about doing things the right way for Holden. Making the right decisions for him… from the smallest to the largest. For him to live in an environment he can thrive in: this is what I mean by the right way. But that’s just it- making sure that it’s the right way for Holden, not just the right way for me.

I can’t help but wonder, does all this get in the way of him just being a kid? He’s 2. And he needs to be 2. He needs to get dirty, he needs to play outside. He needs to do these things without me shadowing over him with a baby wipe, or without me being there every time he makes a mistake to feel a repercussion. He needs to roll down the hill in our backyard. I cringe from the porch hoping he’s not rolling right through dog poop.

It’s all about that balance, somewhat unattainable balance. Yes, I need to teach him right and wrong. Yes, I need to wipe his boogers off his face. Yes, I need to squeeze and kiss and love on him. But I need to accept that he is independent from me, his own little human finding his own steps.

I need to do just what the song says he loved so much back when I used to rock him to sleep and sing. Instead of overwhelming him with mom’s need to do right all the time. This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.

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