It’s been a while since I shared some photos of this little cutie but now the spring is here I think it’s going to get easier. It’s not always easy capturing her in the winter due to the lack of natural light, I mean she’s not the easiest to capture anyway, she never stops moving and I only like to capture Nova-Rose just being herself as opposed to making her sit somewhere and posing, she’s too young and adventurous to understand that right now. For me the situation has to be as natural and authentic as it can be. She has such a wonderful and unique personality and that is what I want to capture when I take photos because anything else just seems too orchestrated and stage mumma.
After my “2 Years Of Motherhood” post, Today I to wanted to talk a little bit more in depth about my little star flower. Nova-Rose is coming up two years and two months and recently I had to fill out her assessment forms that the health visitor provides when children turn two and it bought to our attention what we had already been a little concerned about for a little while now. Nova-Rose excelled early on, standing up and holding herself up against the table at five months, taking her first steps at 7 months and properly walking by ten months and so needless to say I didn’t spend a second worrying about her development. Then she hit a year and little things started to concern me and her Dad, not overly but enough. Nova-Rose who was once a very smiley baby had began smiling less and less, she still wasn’t responding to her name and her eye contact with us was few and far between. We would often say how it would sometimes come across as though she has hearing problems but that was so evidently not the case that we were able to dismiss that notion rather quickly.
The signs she was displaying reminded me of my youngest nephew who we have always felt was on the spectrum along with his older brother who is currently being diagnosed, so I have a fair amount of knowledge on this subject. Now we don’t mind either way, me and her father just want her to be happy and healthy and I don’t look upon autism as something to be shameful over. I think kids and adults on the spectrum are awesome, they should be considered neurodivergent and we should recognise that they simply have their own way of learning and viewing the world that we all share and love in. Different isn’t wrong, it’s just different. Yes, depending on where one is on the spectrum, the help that they need might vary quite drastically but there is still so much that can be learnt by those who have this unique way of seeing the world.
Anyway I’ve gone of course a little here and when it came to Nova-Rose and the concerns we were having for her, though it would be easy to jump to conclusions, I like to try and keep a balanced view. Yes, she may be showing early signs of being on the spectrum but she also may be taking her own route and learning at her pace. Time does tell and one year on she is super smiley and eye contact has rapidly got much better. She is slowly responding to her name, though that’s still a working progress, I honestly think she is just very strong willed. Whilst she has progressed in some ways there are a few things that she seems “behind” on, she still isn’t talking and apparently she should have a whole range of words In her vocabulary by now.
Nova-Rose is reluctant to try new foods and this is despite originally having the most varied diet I’ve ever seen in a baby for the first seven months of eating solids. Her food intake was something I was very proud of in the beginning, it just seems to have profoundly deteriorated in the last year or so. There are few other behaviours that aren’t quite up to “the mark” yet either. It can also be hard being so active on Instagram, seeing the progress of the little ones via different accounts that I follow and trying desperately hard not to make comparisons! Though it is tempting to fall head first into that rabbit hole, I know better then to do so and like myself, we are all mostly sharing our highlights and so it would be foolish of me to compare my behind the scenes with others highlights.
What I have learned through my nephews before having Nova-Rose, is that children all have their own path to walk, talk and learn from. If we didn’t have these markers, then would we be questioning anything?! Sometimes who is at first slow, will later be fast and if not, does it really even matter if we learn and express differently from one another?! We are here to be our wonderful unique selves, not to fit into a box that society has unknowingly forced us into. I am slowly but surely learning that the worry I have, comes from a made up chart that is dictating to us parents what our children should be achieving. I know I sound a little defensive and maybe I am but this alongside our current educational system is something I’ve long had frustration with.
We have faith in our daughter, I trust my instincts and for now I believe she is a happy and capable little girl who loves exploring her world and I am lucky enough to be a part of that. Time will tell and we are going to continue in not letting the pressure of guidelines affect our confidence in our daughter and in ourselves as parents. I know in writing this post, I may potentially be opening myself to judgment and opinions but I don’t care for that, I’m just wanting to share the side of being a parent that is aside from the happy photos. We are so quick to share all the delightful moments and I love that because it’s necessary for me to keep this space as positive as possible, life is hard enough without droning on all the time but life is also about balance and it’s important for me to share these vulnerabilities from time to time, not because I’m looking for validation but because I think it’s needed to keep taking and sharing our experiences whether or not the community is large or small. When we worry for our children it shows that we care but it’s also good to keep in mind that worrying in any scenario is going to cloud our intuition and as parents our intuition is everything.
I send you lots of love and light,