Last night was my latest trip to the dads’ support group – now that my curling is (largely) done for the season, I’ll be going regularly over the summer.
Something that was said last night, which I’ve probably commented on before, was very relavent to me. We had two new dads, and were talking about how our kids are getting along with their development, and comparing notes on whose child is walking, is talking, is doing X, Y or Z…
And one of the fathers commented on the fact that the support group was really one of the few places where he could brag that his eight-year-old is finally walking.
I know that I’m feeling weird on both sides of the fence at the moment. I’m balancing what the Monster can and can’t do, what skills of his are emerging and which ones need further support… with what the baby can and can’t do. On the one hand, I’m getting the experience of having a toddler with the normal skills emerging at the normal time, and on the other, I’m dealing with trying to encourage the Monster with toileting at an age where most of his NT peers have already mastered the skills that are giving him trouble.
Yes, I do have friends “on the outside” who are equally proud of how he’s coming along, the ones who’ve been watching him all along and know (either through reading this blog, or seeing the Monster, or just knowing us in general) about the struggles he has with getting down some of those skills. But a lot of the time, I still get the really weird looks from folks when we’re doing things that should be long past. Things such as taking him to the rest room to check or change his pull-up (if we’re out for very long durations), or very firm verbal prompts for what he might want to eat or drink, or coping with meltdowns in public.
But I do know that when I’m at the group, no one’s surprised to hear about children his age (or older) who are just finally having moderate success with toilet training. Or that we share information about what resources are out in the community that NT children and their families take for granted, but that we struggle to keep in place and share so that we can have some sense of normalcy.
I can be honest – I don’t think I really had relished, in the beginning, the idea of going to a support group, but I don’t quite know what I’d do without seeing that it’s not just me…