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....