We, as human beings, can be so focused on the negative. Let’s think of this common scenario: the boss calls us in for our yearly review: she/he says 6 positive things, and mentions 2 small things that we could improve on…most of us do NOT leave patting ourselves on the back, & thinking “Hell yeah, I did great on those 6 things!” Nope. Instead, the majority of us ruminate on the 2 negative details the entire way home after work that day (which weren’t even “negative”, really, we just chose to view them that way). WHY do we do that to ourselves?! What purpose does that serve?!! Well, as I have learned from author Gretchen Rubin, us humans have what is called a “negativity bias”–we are hard-wired to focus on the negative criticisms, rather than spend our time feeling good about the plus side. At first thought, this seems self-sabotaging, doesn’t it?….but upon further reflection, it also seems to me that maybe it is the way in which our minds ignite growth & spur positive changes in our very being.
Last week, I found myself saddened by the fact that Evy hasn’t really begun talking yet. He tries here & there to say certain words, and some moments he even utterly blows us away with a 2-3 word sentence (like “I already did!”), but on the whole…there isn’t a whole lot of speech that is consistent just yet. I have been racking my damn brain, thinking so hard that smoke surely fumes out of my ears, & reading and reading about how to help spark that part of his brain, the part that will help him verbalize more….but by last week, the wind was nearly blown right outta my sails. (And yes, that was when I fell down the Rabbit Hole)….
Sure, Evy is getting on so well at daycare (this is only week #5 at the biggest daycare centre in town, and after being at home his entire life, he is absolutely loving it and adapting with nary a hitch, something almost NO TODDLERS do!!)…but, why isn’t he talking more? True, he is clearly understanding so much more than he ever has (it wasn’t long ago that we weren’t even sure that he understood the word “no”!! And now, oh boy, does he EVER know what that dreaded word means, ha!!)….but once again, what about the verbal aspect?? He is immeasurably stronger & more coordinated than ever!!…he can do the stairs all alone with no concerns (a year ago, my heart would jump in to my throat if he ever even approached a flight of stairs!!), jump, climb, feed himself with a spoon, coordinate new physical communicative gestures (such as nodding, shaking his head, of giving a high-five), and is even loving trying to pee on the pottie (which I think is something we can all agree that most little boys do NOT smile about!)….but whoooooooa now, don’t get too excited, Lace, what about his SPEECH?!!
“What if he never really TALKS, Lace?!! What will happen?”
This was the broken record playing in head.
As if his verbal abilities are the be-all-and-end-all of his measure in life?!!
Shame on me.
I know, some may say in response to this: “don’t be so hard on yourself!”…..but honestly, with how far he has come, all of the things he has learned and overcome DESPITE HIS BRAIN ABNORMALITIES?!! Oh yes. SHAME. ON. ME.
Poor Evy; we tend to spend so much time focusing on what YOU can improve on, or that WE as PARENTS need to work on, that sometimes we don’t SLOW THE HELL DOWN and acknowledge how absolutely wondrous you truly are, little Bug.
I want to say to our sweet Bug tonight: Evy, I appreciate you. I adore your gentle nature, the way you may not be able to verbally tell baby Lydia that you don’t want her to take your toy, or touch your leg, but you never hurt her or use your size over her in any way. You do not yell, push & shove, or throw a tantrum when someone gets in to your personal space (which is what your big brother often did with his best buddy Luke at your age!!); instead, you take a safe adults, hand and guide us to keep you safe, or you put your arms out in front of you, not to shove or hurt, but almost to protect your safety bubble. And you do so with such admirable patience. (Something I can say that I don’t often possess!) Sweet Bug, you may not eat a wide variety of food, but you use only good manners when expressing what you would like and what you do not want. No screaming, no throwing things on the floor; a simple smile or a gently hand out in front of yourself (to protect your precious personal space bubble from that evil food item!). You go about your days with such utter KINDNESS. Something that I think we should all learn from.
Not many of us are as genuinely sweet, and good natured, as you are, Evy-Bug. And although daddy and I spend so much time trying to figure out how to help you improve, you are actually the one that shows US how WE can improve.
And we love you, so very dearly.
Praise you, Evy-Bug.
He is doing amazingly well, Lacey. And you’re right, his beautiful personality will be something that gets him far in life. The words and communication will come, is coming, and you’re doing all you can do. Have faith that you’re on the right track and he will develop on his own sweet path which will delight and surprise you as well as mystify all of us!