Milly eats odd things. She chews on the corners of the walls. She digs out drywall and eats it. She chews sidewalk chalk like it's a stick of candy. She eats dirt. We thought it was a phase but it began escalating. She knows that she's not supposed to chew. She startles and runs when we catch her. She hides to chew longer. It seems almost like a compulsion. Sunday school teachers, Mother's Day Out teachers, babysitters and others have commented on it. No one has any advice. We asked our pediatrician for help. She suggested an iron deficiency that is forcing her to go in search of the minerals she needs. We had her tested and she is anemic. We start iron supplements tomorrow.
Milly still rarely talks. We have been approved for ECI but we've never been able to schedule anything because of the new baby, bedrest and moving. Now that we're settled, ECI is reviewing her file and she'll start once-a-week sessions.
She's learned autistic behaviors from her older siblings. She's never been around her peers. She's not autistic. We've had her evaluated and I don't see the same things I see in Sophie and Gideon. Those behaviors must still be unlearned. She's in a day camp two days a week around other two year olds.
We address every concern. We pounce to fix anything physical and begin coaching the not-easily-fixed. It's a battle. I feel like so many look at me as though its my fault. Like they need to know the name of the prenatal vitamins I took so they can avoid broken kids, too.
People, I read to my kids in the womb. I stared them in their tiny infant faces and talked to them. I avoided baby talk just in case it was detrimental. I didn't eat hot dogs while I was pregnant and I only had sushi once. I did everything right! And still I battle. I look at Rory with so much fear. What's wrong with this one? It's hard to enjoy your baby when you're examining every response to see if it's "normal".
Ultimately, God gave me Sophie, Gideon, Milly and Rory. He will give me what I need to raise them. I must remember that.