Saturday, 18 September 2010

A post about Miss B (well, not really...)

I wanted to write a post about the wonderful Miss B but one that really conveys who this little lady is. I've been mulling over what to write and reflecting a bit on the last nine months. We had a bit of a rocky start so I haven't blogged much about her for fear of comments and making the tone of this blog all a bit NetMums (yes, I did refer to this in a derogatory sense as the coffee house is just hideous)... Also time is flying past so quickly that it seems like only yesterday that she arrived instead of nine months ago. 

So welcome to the world Miss B! If you are wondering why I call her Miss B, I'll tell you. I'm partial to nick names for kids. A (Bubs, Fredo, Ally Bongo) has a few and I'm still working out B's (Belly, Bubba, Bella Boo, B.B...). However, when I take B out in her buggy she suddenly adopts the poise and position of the queen. 

People often remark on how imperious she looks in her little Bee-mobile and so her being Jessica Tandy to my Morgan Freeman, I call her Miss B "Yes, Miss B. Where to now, Miss B". 

You may also have guessed that there is quite a substantial gap between my two children, eleven years to be exact. Because A is hard work and also because of his disability, I never seriously considered having any more kids as the prospect frightened me. I know quite a few parents of disabled children who then went onto have more children and it was never something I really understood. When it is a disability that is unexplainable like autism, the prospect of having another child who could possibly have that same affliction is nerve-wracking. Not always due to the disability itself but in the sense that you are somehow to blame for the condition. That to have another child and to inflict on them the same life that A will have seems unreasonable at best. Yeah, people tell you that you shouldn't think like that and that it wouldn't matter that you would love them anyway. Despite this,  I've often wondered if I was more terrified at the prospect of having a normal child rather than a disabled child. A long time ago, I accepted that A wouldn't really achieve anything spectacular in his life. As harsh as that sounds, it's true. It's unlikely that he'll be a mathematical genius or a scientist. I suspect he won't even have a driving license when he's 17 like the rest of his peers. We'll be proud of him and we love him dearly but the goals for a disabled child are always different, always more mundane. We have to push A every minute of the day to lead a normal life, to get himself dressed, to walk safely (with me) to school, to remember not to say inappropriate things to teachers, to kids. The prospect of having a child that who could achieve anything it wanted worried me more than having another disabled child. Would it change how I treat A, would I pressure that child to achieve the things we could never dream of for A?

When I was pregnant with B my midwife sat me down and tried to dispense a few words of wisdom. Like me, she has a disabled older child and she warned me not to scrutinise everything that B would do. "Don't go looking for autism" she said and I try not to but I do. Every time B doesn't respond to me immediately or seem completely enthralled by a new activity, social setting and activity, I start to panic, I start to sweat and desperately try to get her interested in singing Five Little Monkeys or whatever it is we are doing. Add to this the things that well meaning people say to us and it makes for a stressful life sometimes.  

I'm acutely aware that this has turned into another autism post. I think I need to finish the A series and get it out of my system before I can write coherently about other topics. I'll also be thinking about my little Miss B post. She is truly amazing, a wonderful girl and a beautiful baby and the world needs to know this....


  1. Oh my goodness, I know exactly what you mean. I spend quite a lot of time mulling over whether everything is ok with Tiddler. He has a habit of just trashing the place rather than actually playing with his toys and I'm constantly thinking that this isn't 'normal'. He's not talking much at all either. I do wonder whether we would have had him had we known about Nipper's Asberger's in time. It would have been such a shame if we hadn't though as he's a lovely little lad.

  2. I think this is something that parents dare not say aloud but something that kept pushing back our decision to have more kids by more years than most people. People often remark on the age gap either commenting that it must be difficult because they are so different at their respective ages but really A can be harder work than B most days. I would never regret it but I do spend most days racked with guilt. I try not to analyse everything she does but I think by this point it's inbuilt.

  3. Max was my second child, after having Zack (who's your typical NT child), it was quite a difference. I don't think I'll ever have any more, partly because I feel like I'm finally getting past that stage of being constantly needed, and being able to have some time to be me again (today I got Max's start date for nursery... 3 weeks today!), and also because I don't think I'd want to add another child into the mix when Max is so difficult at times. I feel like I need to focus all my energy on him.

    It does help that I'm a single mum and there's no chance of another little one anyway I suppose!

    People say 'never say never!' when I say I'm done with having kids, but I really genuinely think that, for me, two is enough! I suppose I'm woman enough to admit that I'm selfish about it, and don't want to go back to the whole sleepless nights, and complete exhaustion, lol!

  4. Love it! I have huge difficulty writing a "normal" the end of it I'm going "feck, it's about autism again!!".
    My autie dude is my youngest so I've never had to deal with what you struggled with. I have no doubt you would love the baby unconditionally anyway (as you've done it once already) but I never considered the fears that would go along with having a NT child. You've given me a new perspective on that.

  5. Lovely post Oh Mammy. And I totally get you. My WiiBoy (ASD)is an only child. By the time things were manageable it was too late to consider having more children!!

    xx Jazzy (Via Jen's Blog Gems)

    PS I tried to follow too but Google Follow wouldn't let me! I'll try again next time!

  6. @Marylin
    With such a big gap between children, you forget about the exhaustion, the mastitus etc and it all becomes rather That's great about Max's nursery. I was reading your post about your worries and I have to say that I completely agree and went through the same thing with A. It does get better though. Keep us posted with how he gets on. :)

  7. @Jean. It's a bugger isn't it. Miss B has to feature in more posts. I feel like if I didn't write about food or autism I'd be talking about poo and weaning and having sore boobs!
    You just have to muddle along with the notion that love is enough and you'll deal with what comes after when it happens. I don't know what worries me more, having a NT child or another with ASD. I've stopped reading developmental updates that I get via email from baby sites and getting more sleep! xxx

  8. Thanks Jazzy! Goggle follow has been temperamental today. You could go for a huge age gap too!


  9. I have three children, ages 8, 3 and 20 months. We realised our 3 year old had autism when he was 18 months old, his little sister was 2 months old at the time. I have to say I watched her like a hawk, I even blogged about her copying some of HRH's behaviours! At 20 months I can say she is NT and have no doubt whatsoever, but I was watching out for sooo long. It is hard not to!

  10. @Jen: I'm trying hard not to. Her first birthday is in a few weeks time and I'm trying not to think about what she hasn't done yet. Thanks for commenting. xx


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