Just Write: Delays and Doctors

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linking up with Heather of The Extraordinary Ordinary for Just Write

yesterday I took Piper in for an appointment with a pediatrician who specializes in child development. she’s had some delays and issues and we’ve been working with a wonderful team of therapists since early last summer. i can’t say enough about her speech therapist, physical therapist, and nutritionist. they’re all phenomenal women and we’re so lucky to have benefitted from their knowledge and expertise.

but still. it’s very slow going. communication is tough — for everyone– because she can’t convey what she wants, or when she tries, we can’t understand her garbled speech and attempts.

it escalates. she becomes frustrated. i become frustrated. and upset. she starts fussing and crying. tantrums follow.

and i sit there, throw my hands up. i don’t yell much since the new year began. but inside i’m knotted up, cinched tight. i realize my fists are clenching and unclenching involuntarily. i get irritated. i don’t know what to do. i don’t know how to handle her.

i know she doesn’t often throw these fits at preschool. i don’t know if it’s because she’s surrounded by her peers and she’s so busy emulating them and interacting… or if it’s just because she knows there are firm(er) limits there and no one’s going to put up with any bullshit.

consequently, things at home have been, well, less than pleasant. i need Nanny 911. i’m trying to be firm and not let her steamroll me (because i think without even realizing it, we’ve been catering to her, indulging her…after all, she is the “baby” and she has delays).

it’s often hard to tell if she’s just testing me. is she being a typical two-year-old in some regards? i’ve been down this road before, but i’ve forgotten just how difficult this stage can be. and couple this with my own struggles lately–with depression and weaning off the benzos— and yeah, it’s not always very fun around here.

so the doctor we saw yesterday made some recommendations for further testing– to see if there could be a reason behind her delays. it’s entirely possible there is no underlying explanation; some kids just have delays. there are easier and quicker ways to get some answers, i.e. blood draws and chromosome studies. then there’s the flip side, an MRI of her brain. invasive and would require putting her to sleep. i don’t think we’ll be doing the latter. it was a lot to take in, but i’m grateful to have the input and to know that…we can investigate further if we choose to, or if she doesn’t progress, or if she (G-d forbid) regresses.

and then there’s this blog, this space. MY space. i’ve been stifled in some ways, feeling as if i shouldn’t publish anything that’s not useful or good or interesting. in blogging there’s something to be said for not publishing a post every time you feel like it just for the sake of putting something up that day, or on a regular basis. but i’ve gone the opposite direction. i’ve stopped putting much of anything out there because it doesn’t seem to measure up to the other blogs i read regularly. where do people get all their ideas from?

i spend too much time reading and sharing others’ posts and not enough time on my own work. maybe if i put more effort in here…there’d be more worth posting.

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  • http://ninabadzin.com/ Nina Badzin

    It’s such a hard balance–the reading and sharing vs. the work–the REAL work of writing. I try to divide it into sections of a day. Early morning (I wake up at 5) is for WORK. And thought I’d love to say the other pockets of time between kid stuff is for writing too, I find that start and stop of free time a better atmosphere for the reading and sharing. This is why I write about three solid posts a month and NOTHING ELSE. I’m okay with that (I recently decided).

    Sorry things have been extra crazy at home. Not easy. :(

    • http://www.twocannoli.com/ Kristin S.

      Now I know why you are beautifully prolific, Nina! 5 AM! I am a lazy sleeper-inner. OK, so I’m a night owl. My problem is that I read too much and don’t write enough too, Erin, so I hear you.

      • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

        @ninabadzin:disqus & @KristinShaw:disqus, I used to go the 5 a.m. thing, too. Before Piper was born, I got up early and wrote my morning pages. And then I found out I was pregnant (miracle). And then I started feeling really tired. And BOOM, nausea. So I stopped. I hope I’ll be able to resume, but I’m not pushing it with the depression. Sleep has to come first for now. Thank you both so much for reading! xo

  • http://www.jenniferpwilliams.com/ Jennifer P. Williams

    I think what you put up is great, so no worries there. I also think you’ve been going through a lot the last six months are so. Be a little kinder to Erin. She deserves it. Hugs for you and Piper. I know it is a lot to work through, but you will both get there, together.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You are right. And your comment here made me cry. Just thinking of you, and I know how you are— but something about you telling me these things, and to be kinder to myself —I know you really mean it. (that sounds bad, which is not what I mean. I just mean that you don’t blow smoke) There has been SO much going on. It feels a little unsettled. And this stuff with Piper…just makes it harder sometimes. So thank you for being my friend. xo

  • http://genieinablog.com. Leigh Ann

    I know this must be a lot to deal with. Kids don’t act up as much at school because they just know to be on their best behavior. They save all the testing and boundary pushing for us at home. It’s rough.

    I’d love to tell you not to compare yourself to other bloggers and writers, because there’s just too much to compare to, and it does no good. But then I’d have to write a post titled “In which Leigh Ann fails to take her own advice.” xo

  • http://writingwishing.com/ Alison

    Erin, I’ve been there. My now 4 year old was just like that at Piper’s age. The speech delay screws everything else up because when you can’t talk to someone, how do you teach them things like potty training, or enforce good eating habits, or explain consequences of actions? How do they know you love them and you’re trying your best? And he had no words to tell me why he was frustrated, or convey his needs properly and fast enough for his liking. There have been tears and why-us questions, and me wondering what I did wrong.

    Let me just tell you, don’t ever think it’s you (and not saying you are, but in case it ever crosses your mind). You’re doing everything you can for Piper. The tipping point will come. The day it all clicks. It will. Trust me as someone who’s sort of emerged onto the other side. Yes, he’s still speech delayed, he’s not talking like a typical 4 year old, but things are so much better. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    And? Don’t compare yourself to others. YOU have something to say, and it’s important. Say it. Write it.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, sweet Alison. Some days are really rough. Some are better. I can’t predict when she’ll have a run of good or bad days. You’re right when you say the speech screws EVERYTHING up– because until there’s a problem with speech,y you’re going along fine. But BAM! The words don’t come, phrases don’t come, frustration builds on all sides. And there’s not a whole lot we can do right now except for therapy, which … sometimes seems so slow even though I know we can’t rush it or force anything. Thanks for offering your insight and reminding me that her time will come. It will. xo

  • Kim@Co-Pilot Mom

    Wishing you and Piper all the best as you navigate the coming days. And I know how easy it is to fall into the comparison trap. It’s your space and you can post – or not post – as often as you like – but keep sharing your voice and your stories, Erin. :)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Kim. It’s tough sometimes…but I’m grateful to have friends like you who support me. hugs!

  • Kahty Radigan

    My heart goes out to you Erin. I know what it’s like to have a child who is not developing in the way that they are “supposed” to and it’s brutal. Especially when they are so young. I think it’s amazing that you are on on top of it and doing what you can to help your sweet daughter. xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much for this. I don’t know if I’d say I’m on top of it, but I’m doing the best I can under the circumstances. It’s very trying some days. And I just have to keep plowing forward. THe hardest thing is just not knowing what she’s saying. It makes it very difficult to leave her with sitters, etc., too.

  • Jennifer Meer

    this last piece you write here Erin I get. I often feel so inadequate, so overwhelmed by how much and how good the stuff is that is pumped out by other folks blogs. but you are very good. I hope you’ll keep writing – regardless of quantity. i’m not sure that quality and effort have little or anything to do with quantity. keep on writing your best whenever you can write it, in particular because no one else has your voice, your perspective. as always, thank you for sharing with all of us.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much for this comment. I’ve been clinging to it ever since, though I’m just now getting to respond. Even though I know rationally it has little to do with quantity, it’s difficult. I’ve always fallen victim to the comparison trap. It’s not fun, and I need to figure out a foolproof way to stop. Thanks for reminding me that no one else has my voice–we are all unique in that regard. hugs to you!

  • Lisha Epperson

    young children are hard on us.. factor in any perceived delays and you’ve got more than enough stress to deal with. I’m happy to hear you have a team of doctors you respect and seem to have her best interest at heart. that’s huge. and you have options for further investigation..Good too. I share your blogging struggles. Especially the part about wanting to post something…anything. I really had to pull away from that. I tried really hard to stick to a Mon, Wed, Friday schedule and it was killing me. Besides being stressful I didnt feel inspired. I just felt I had to produce. Big “No Bueno”. I’m learning to relax and post when led. Keep writing. No one can tell your story the way you can. your unique perspective and life experiences are valuable and someone needs to hear your message in the way only you can say it.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks so much for stopping by and weighing in on this. For a long time I had a semi-regular blogging/posing schedule, too. It’s been difficult to let go of that and just write and share something when it moves me. Thanks for the reminder that we all have our own stories and perspectives. Sometimes it’s hard, feeling like a teeny tiny fish in a ginormous ocean!

  • alexandra

    It’s the not knowing that gets to us. Not knowing her future. If only there was a way I could tell you, it wil be okay. Only thing I have learned, is that all my worry, is soon forgotten with good news. I wish good news for you, dear Erin.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      thank you. we’re holding off on anything invasive for now. the doctor wants to see her back in six months, and if she hasn’t progressed, or if she’s regressed, then we’ll look into those options further. in the meantime, communication is tough and the tantrums are wearing me down. thanks so much for reading, and for your support, as always. xo

  • http://www.mommy-miracles.com Laura

    There’s so much going on in your life right now, and it is understandable that you are feeling how you are feeling. Communication issues are hard in relationships, even when that relationship is between a two year old and her parents.

    Keep writing and even sharing it. Sometimes we don’t realize how good our own work is until much later.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much for the encouragement, it helps a lot. And yes, the communication is really rough right now. I don’t know what to do anymore. But I am glad to have you in my corner and I appreciate your friendship more than you know. xo

  • Julie Gardner

    I never feel like your posts are “just to put something up”. Ever.
    For the record.

    I think what you share (about your self, life, family) helps others more than you realize.

  • http://www.about100percent.com/ Andrea

    Two is a tough age, and to have her other difficulties on top plus all that you’re going through, well, it’s easy to see why you’re frustrated and overwhelmed. From the outside I can see that you are doing the best you can for your girl. There’s a lot to be said for that.

    As for the blog, like you said – it’s your space. It will always be here. And because of your talent and ability to express yourself so clearly and beautifully, your readers will be here, too. xoxo