Perseverance and Determination

Every now and then I get sucked into the milestone checklist. I did it today. Mattie just turned 15 months old. When we adjust for her prematurity that technically puts her at a 13 months old level. So I decided to look at the 1 year milestones again since I have given her a few months to “catch up”.

What most children do at age 1:

Social and Emotional

  • Is shy or nervous with strangers – Yes
  • Cries when mom or dad leaves – Yes
  • Has favorite things and people – Yes
  • Shows fear in some situations – No
  • Hands you a book when he wants to hear a story – No
  • Repeats sounds or actions to get attention – No
  • Puts out arm or leg to help with dressing – No
  • Plays games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake” – No


  • Responds to simple spoken requests – No
  • Uses simple gestures, like shaking head “no” or waving “bye-bye”  – No
  • Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech) – No
  • Says “mama” and “dada” and exclamations like “uh-oh!” – No
  • Tries to say words you say – No

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing – Sometimes
  • Finds hidden things easily – No
  • Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named – No
  • Copies gestures – Sometimes
  • Starts to use things correctly; for example, drinks from a cup, brushes hair – No
  • Bangs two things together – No
  • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container – No
  • Lets things go without help  – No
  • Pokes with index (pointer) finger – No
  • Follows simple directions like “pick up the toy” – No

Movement/Physical Development

  • Gets to a sitting position without help – No
  • Pulls up to stand, walks holding on to furniture (“cruising”) – No
  • May take a few steps without holding on – No
  • May stand alone – No

So we failed…pretty miserably at that. It is not surprising but it still hurts. I want to make sure that I am doing everything I can. So I read A LOT, I ask A LOT of questions, and I try and learn from other moms who have traveled this path already. I know we posted a video of Mattie taking steps, and yes we are very excited that she has the concept down of one foot forward, but she is no where near close to walking. She can’t even sit up or crawl! I think she gets frustrated too. When she is lying down on the floor, she struggles to sit up and I can see the determination in her face but time after time she fails, then she gets frustrated and starts to cry. It is heartbreaking to watch.

It is almost incomprehensible how easy it is for us to move yet it is so hard for her. Language/Communication is starting to play a bigger role in our lives. We have been doing sign language with her. Basic signs like eat, more, milk, bath… but she has not used any of them. She babbles more and more each day, but nothing like what she should be doing…. Ah there I said it “should be doing”. Damn these milestones charts and should be’s… I hate it but every now and then I need a reality check. It is not always butterflies and rainbows. This is the cold hard reality that I sometimes have to check myself with in order to keep moving in the right direction and persevere. Hmmm…

Persevere: to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.

Determination: the refusal to let anything prevent you from doing what you have decided to do

Maybe with Jim and my perseverance and Mattie’s determination we will one day be able to cross off every one of these stupid 1 year old milestones!

Steady as we go my friends.

2 thoughts on “Perseverance and Determination

  1. I love seeing pictures of Mattie as she grows. She is so beautiful and is so happy! You and Jim are doing a wonderful job with her. She is blessed to have you both as her parents and your family is blessed to have her.

  2. lump in my throat….AGAIN. you write so well, Jess (you too, Jim) and I know we all love reading your posts. Mattie is one lucky girl, and I know that between you all….she will prevail.

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