The Daughter Chronicles

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Comparison shopping

One of the most frustrating things about raising Mia is that we have no frame of reference, since she is our first child. Now that she's in school, we can tell a little bit more how three-year-olds act, but all the kids in school with her are in some way impaired as well (although not as badly as she is), so it's still not a perfect comparison. With the arrival of my sister and her two children, one of whom turns four next week, we can see a little bit more how much she's actually behind.

It's not pretty.

We know that she is still very delayed, and we know that she has a lot of work to do, but to put her next to a kid who is only eight months older than she is and has a similar upbringing (my sister and brother-in-law are comfortable in the suburbs, not unlike Krys and I) is to get a sense of what we're missing. Matthew is a fine kid, and he runs around and plays with toys and talks quite a bit, and he actually likes Norah more than Mia because we're pretty sure he doesn't quite know what to make of Mia, since she's a kid who is his size but she doesn't run around and play with him. Norah he can handle - she's a baby, so of course she can't do anything! He has gotten friendlier with Mia, but I still don't think he knows quite what's going on. She, of course, loves everyone and says "Hi" to all.

Having them here has been interesting, but I think it's been frustrating for Mia as well. She has been watching Matthew and his sister, Lindsay, tear around our house and throw toys everywhere (I get to pick them up - yay!) and although we sit on the floor with her and they play around her, it seems like she's very aware that something is amiss. It doesn't seem to bring her down, because she's been very pleasant, but you can see it on her face occasionally, as if she's thinking, "I'm the same size as that kid - why can't I do what he's doing?" She doesn't seem to look the same way at school - again, maybe it's because she's gotten used to the kids, or maybe it's because they're impaired as well.

One thing I've noticed about the two of them is that Mia is much friendlier with adults. She sat with my sister and her husband and has no problem saying hi and chatting with them. Matthew, on the other hand, has not warmed up to me or Krys yet, and Lindsay is even worse. Mia has no problem with strange adults, because she has met so many of them. She isn't shy at all - maybe for about a minute or two, but then she's ready to chat. Matthew has said a few words to me, but he'd rather not.

It's been fun having them visit - I haven't seen my sister in three years, and I had never met their daughter, who is 17 months old. I still have hope that Mia will catch up, and although it's depressing to watch where she should be, it's also interesting to see what she needs to accomplish. She'll keep working, because we won't let her quit.


  • Just keep your head high and know that she is accomplishing things that are needed for her when she is able to. I know that it can be frustrating but know that she will get there and everything is going to be great. You guys are a great inspiration to me and I am grateful to have gotten to know you and Mia and the rest of your family through your blog

    By Blogger Mrs Lefty, at 29/12/05 2:01 AM  

  • Thanks, Kelly. I know you'll keep fighting too.

    By Blogger Greg, at 29/12/05 9:08 AM  

  • I have many friends who are parents or relatives of children who have suffered similar trauma. They do pick up, and keep going, and they are a joy to be around. Don't worry, she is still young, she will go very far in her life.

    By Anonymous Andy Drozd, at 31/12/05 8:00 PM  

  • Comparison shopping happens even when your kids have not had a brain injury. 'My kid does this' 'well my kid does that' and on and on. Bragging rights. You'll find that out with Nora as she gets older. Mia is in her own league and therefore you get to brag about her for the rest of her wonderful life.

    By Anonymous Dubya (Carol W.), at 3/2/06 9:18 AM  

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