Those are not words anyone likes to hear. “It’s a process.” We live in a world where everything needs to be now or never. Today I can get movies, information, and a steaming hot lasagna in just minutes. I like that. I like things done my way in my own time table. So telling me something is going to take time – that something isn’t going to go exactly like I planned – is not fun for me.
My last post talked about my daughter Abigail’s ‘condition.’ Honestly we are starting to think she simply has a bad case of being stubborn and independent. I mean if everyone would just let me lay around all day and bring me food I probably wouldn’t want to do much either. But in all seriousness Abigail is developmentally behind. She hasn’t met any of her milestones as a now one-year-old. (We had a sunshine party for her last week and it was wonderful!!) Because of this we haven’t celebrated her first steps or even her first time sitting up on her own.
Everyday it’s a process to see what Abigail will do and we celebrate the tiny things. This is why there is a picture of an empty Gerber baby food container on this post. We have been struggling to get Abigail to eat anything. I still nurse her and I am her main, and until recently, only source of any nutrients. We did the whole introduce baby food at 6 months and it was a battle to get Abigail to eat just a couple spoonfuls of anything we gave her. When she would eat 10 spoonfuls at one sitting we would jump up and down!! Since she wasn’t keen on baby food we switched to tiny pieces of table food. That wasn’t much better because then we would just shove tiny pieces of veggies down her throat and needless to say meal time became a chore. We had a swallow study done and there was nothing wrong with Abigail, but we found out we probably shouldn’t be feeding her table food because she wasn’t quite ready for it. So back to baby food we went.
Thankfully, with the advice of our amazing therapist, we found that if we were simply patient, and we didn’t mind acting like fools, our precious baby girl would slowly (and I mean slowly) eat half a container of food at a time. Tonight we completely finished our first (yes I said first) container of baby food ever!! It took us two meals and about an hour and so many faces, but she did it!!! And that’s how every achievement with Abigail is.
Whether it be that she held a toy for more than one minute, or she used her hand to prop sit for 3 seconds, or she focused on someone while they talked to her these tiny accomplishments are HUGE!!! And I love celebrating them with Abigail. I love to see that big,one tooth, smile come over her face when I clap. So while that empty food container is just trash, to us it stands for yet another Abigail first!!
So it’s going to be a process, but I am learning to love this process because I get to savor all the tiny little baby steps that Abigail will make and has already made. I think back to when she was 4 or 6 months and to see her improvement truly is a miracle! I love watching her accomplish new things and I am so thankful to be able to be a part of the process. My hope is that I learn to slow down and savor each moment. I live in a world that is always go, go, go but I have a little girl who is teaching me to slow down and just live in the moment. I love, and often live by lists and to-do sheets. Slowing down is hard, but maybe that’s why God gave me Abigail – to teach me a lot of things. But today I want to celebrate that she ate so well for me, and we will just have to see what tomorrow brings.