Hooray! Malachi's doing That Annoying Thing That Jaden Does!

One of the best things about being a parent of a special needs child is that you never take a developmental milestone for granted. Other parents have the luxury of being annoyed that their child is now able to snatch things, or crawl anywhere or run away. This is only because they haven't seriously considered the alternative.

For me, on the other hand, the thought that Malachi might one day be able to move fast enough to get into trouble while I've turned my back for a split second fills me with joyful hope and the idea that he might not is a constant nightmare. When people at the store chide me with: "Those two are going to be running all over the place next year," I smile and nod while thinking: "God, I hope so."

So, in contrast to most parents, I don't get upset or trepidatious when Malachi learns a new skill. I revel in the too-loud shouts that mean his diaphragm is strengthening and the small battle I wage every feeding to keep his increasingly dextrous little fingers from grabbing the washcloth under his chin. Indeed, I would go so far as to say I am a saint-like mother who cheers every one of her son's accomplishments no matter how much more work it means for me, because I know that him NOT accomplishing those things is so much more work — not to mention worry and sorrow.

Jaden, on the other hand, is getting fitted for hobbles and handcuffs next week.

This little monkey manages to scatter anything not tied down, rip out my hair faster than I can say "no," and recently figured out how to get out of a supposedly baby-proof Bumbo chair in 30 seconds flat.

When Jaden learned to roll over, we were treated to weeks of The Continuing Adventures of the Boy Who Never Sleeps. Every time I would put him down to nap, Jaden would promptly roll himself over and play with his hands or babble to nobody or kick his feet. I would wait a while and then roll him back, which he thought was a hilarious game. He spent hours over those weeks just lying awake in his crib before he learned how to roll himself back the other way. Malachi, meanwhile, slept on — blissfully unaware that such a thing was possible.

... that is, until today.

Today, I had to roll Malachi back over three times before he gave up and went to sleep. My stern Go the F**k To Sleep act was ruined by my joyful tears and the grins on his face that I couldn't help but return.

So proud.

So, Malachi, feel free to yank on my elbow during diaper changes, snatch objects you're not supposed to have and wander away from wherever I put you on the floor. Such things would make me happier than you can imagine.

But you know, there is at least one Annoying Thing That Jaden Does that you should feel free not to copy him on.

UPDATE: For those who can't see it (like iPhone users), above is a video of Jaden making an obnoxious noise that would be what a duck would sound like if it could screech.


  1. go malachi!! thanks for sharing the latest accomplishment-give him 3 cheers from us. i will try my very hardest to keep you guys in mind when i am annoyed at the rolling over thing in laney. you make me a better mom by reading your posts, shasta. thank you.

  2. Aw, thanks, E. What I hoped to make clear in the post is that even though I should know better since I'm living the reality of having a developmentally delayed kid, I still get annoyed at the typical one and take for granted his accomplishments. It's human nature, I guess!

  3. Anonymous9:15 PM

    I cannot believe you roll them back to their back. My husband freaked when Gabrielle started rolling to her stomach in bed. It only took once or twice of me telling him, "If you want to stay up all night and flip her back every time, be my guest."

    I get excited when Julia accomplishes the "annoying" things - and then after she continues to do it, promptly return to annoyance! Throwing food during meals is just simply not fun for the person cleaning it up.

  4. Hey Shasta!! That is so awesome that he rolled over - you must have been so excited! I can relate to this post so much - I also celebrate each of the boy's milestones over the top because I know how hard they had to work to accomplish them. The other day a friend of mine was complaining about how much her twins talk and how they say the same thing over and over and how it is annoying some times. I completely understand her complaints but at the same time I was thinking "You don't have any idea what I would give to hear my son say a word - no idea!" I can't wait for the day that Mason is talking my ear off and running around with his brother :-). Here's to celebrating many, many more milestones in the future!

  5. Ah... Well, Amy, you've outed me. Our guys sleep on their *fronts* because they refuse to sleep any other way (believe me, we tried. A lot.). When Jaden was rolling over, I thought, OK, now you'll have to learn how to sleep on your back. Nope. He would just lay there awake, literally for half an hour to an hour. Then he would start screaming. A few times he would go to sleep like that, but more often if I just rolled him over when he was that exhausted he would go straight to sleep. Now that he knows how to roll back onto his front, I see him sleeping on his side, but never on his back.

    Jenny: I was so excited! I wanted to call and tell everyone but I didn't think they would get it, so I decided to write about it. As I said, I think one of the best parts of special needs parenting is savoring the little things.

  6. This gave me tears of joy. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. I can't wait to see the roll over! And it definitely merits a call.


  8. Whoo Hoo! Go Malachi :-)

  9. Anonymous6:03 PM

    I'm the mother who taught my son to climb the dresser drawers just so I could say he had!

    Happy day with the rolling over, more will come! :o)


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