Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Job as their Mom

Tonight I was reading another blogger's post about conversations with their newly adopted child. A child who has only been home a few months.

My heart ached.

Axel does not yet have the language needed to ask questions about his world. Think of any other 6-10 year old. They are FULL of questions. Angela asks a million questions every day. But Axel...Axel can't ask questions. I have to listen in my head for the voices of my older boys when they were his age. What questions would they have asked? Then I try to answer them in the form of running commentary about whatever we're doing at the moment.

It's exhausting, and I have to say I haven't been very good about it lately. I feel like I've let him down, this boy who wants to know all about the world.

And what about Asher? I feel like I haven't been doing enough. He needs the whole world labeled for him like an 18 month old would. I need to get back in the habit of labeling every object I pick up. Every thing that I'm doing.....but do it all in sign. I have to. It's my job. It's the only way my boys will learn language and be able to express it.

At the dinner table Axel's chair faces the windows. A couple weeks ago Axel said, "Mom." and pointed outside. "Black".  

"You're right Axel, it is dark outside. It's night time." He has no idea those little tiny lights in the sky are called stars. 

Asher is such an easy boy. If left to his own devices he would spend his day laying on his side (so he only uses his good eye to see) dangling an object or banging it on his tongue. I have to say, there are days where he spends too much time doing this and I let him. He's easy to engage if I make the effort to do so. He WANTS to be engaged, he just doesn't know how to do it on his own. It's my job. My job to keep him part of this world as much as possible.

It doesn't feel like just being part of our family, learning our daily routines, etc. is enough. I feel like I should be doing MORE. More of everything. I need to take both boys, particularly Axel,  more places to see more things that are all things he should know....

What is a farm?
What is an apple orchard?
What is a dump truck?
What is a hammer?
What is a paint brush?
What is a bakery?
How do you dribble a ball?
How do you draw a person?
What is a sewing machine?
What do freshly baked cookies smell like?
Does Pizza only come in a box?
Where does meat come from?
Where do eggs come from?
Where does milk come from?
What is money?
What is a car wash?
That is a broom, but what is the thing called the dirt goes into?
What is a scooter?
What are those lights in the sky at night?

There is so so much.


Hevel Cohen said...

I find the same challenge with one of our kids. He is very diligent about studying and schoolwork, but he doesn't seem to have the natural curiosity he should have.

Kathy said...

I hope that by now you've snapped out of that beating yourself up thing. You are a great mom, and just because there is a new normal in the house doesnt mean that you are perfect everyday with everyone. Give yourself a break, girl. I idolize you and will not hear it. Your whole family loves you, the boys have a million times more than they ever would have had, and sometimes, we get tired, sick, busy, and sidetracked. Chill a little bit. You have time, and you will teach them SO much. :o)

you rock.