Both the cheesedoodle and the snickerdoodle had doctor’s appointments scheduled for this week because it was Jonathan’s Spring Break. In both cases I thought we would show up and be told, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.” In both cases I was wrong.
The first was an appointment with a physical therapist because the snickerdoodle isn’t crawling. She scoots on her bottom, and she’s pretty good at it, but she doesn’t crawl. Because of her hip history, the pediatrician sent us for an evaluation with a physical therapist. I was expecting to hear, “She’s just a late bloomer” or something of the sort. Instead, after a 45 minute session and evaluation, the verdict is: weak hips. She’s not crawling because she can’t. Physical therapy for her, and daily exercises with mama.
The cheesedoodle’s speech therapist had asked the pediatrician to take a look at him to see if there was something mechanical contributing to his speech issues. Again, I was expecting to hear, “Everything’s fine physically. He’s just delayed.” Instead, after a careful evaluation, (We love our pediatrician) she referred the boy to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist. She hasn’t given us anything tangible she thinks may be the diagnosis, she just thinks it all needs looking in to.
For the duration of my pregnancies – all four of them – I prayed that I would not have a special needs child. The audacity and selfishness of that prayer is eclipsed only by the fact that I was still praying it this time last year. The reality, that has taken me almost five years to learn, is that every child is special needs. Every child will demand of you more than you can give and require care in ways we cannot imagine until we face it. It never crossed my mind that I would be spending so much time trying to teach my almost three year old to talk and my almost 1 year old to crawl that I wouldn’t have time to potty train one of them. Five years ago – even three years ago – I would have attributed that to a failure in earlier nurture instead of a reality of divinely ordained nature (groaning under the pains of a sin corrupted world). No child of mine would ever require speech therapy because I would speak to them. No child of mine would ever not crawl because I wouldn’t pander to them and carry them every where. My superior parenting would produce convenient development.
God’s plan at work in me does not come in such a neat and tidy package. God’s sovereignty is exercised in the unexpected and the inconvenient.
So this week I’m on the floor with my daughter’s hips in my hands teaching her to hold her knees together. It’s uncomfortable. There is evidence it’s painful – although she can’t communicate that yet. She doesn’t like it and she just wants to keep doing things as she has been, because it’s been working. But I love her far too much to let her stunt her future development for current convenience, so I keep holding her hips, and gently pushing her to a little more than she wants to do.
In the same moment God has his hands on my heart, doing the same thing for me because I am His special needs child and He is a good Father.