One of the odd things about delays and autism and the like is that the typical flow of developmental milestones really don’t apply. Just take that what to expect book and toss it out the window. At 3.5, Miss G has many skills that are advanced for her age, such as climbing (and giving her mother a heart attack in the process), incredible object permanence and a memory that shocks me every day, yet there are many milestones that aren’t even on her, or our, radar. I really avoid those whole “your child should be doing this by this age” charts, because they really have never applied to either of my kids. One was years ahead, one is years behind, and it doesn’t change their awesomeness one bit.
What delayed and completely off schedule milestones can do are catch you off guard. Lately Miss G has become increasingly bossy and this week has started becoming quite possessive. Possessive of mama. Possessive of her toys. Possessive of the ability to look out the front window. You name it, it’s hers. Even if it’s yours. Like many other very normal developmental periods for kids, it has caught me off guard. Between the combo of being delayed and the fact that G can’t actually say “mine!” and instead just screams and yells, it often takes me a few days to make the connection and realize that this really loud and sometimes annoying behavior (especially in the eyes of her sister) is actually a good thing, it’s developmentally appropriate and is actually progress.
While it can be a bit challenging to work through some of the “younger” milestones in a slightly older and stronger body, it can be great to realize that those challenges are forward motion. Often those “Mile”stones come a bit more like “Inch”stones in this life, and are worked for, for months (if not years) in therapy and at home, by many people, so when something like good old fashioned toddler possessiveness shows up, all on it’s own, disguised a bit as really loud incoherent screaming, it *is* a good thing.
And sometimes we even take a break from declaring that the world to belongs exclusively to G, and instead try another new skill – making crazy sounds with our hand. We are still happy to share our laughs and crazy noises.