So we just finished Henry's speech therapy for the week. First off, let me tell you that his therapist showed up thirty minutes early. THIRTY MINUTES. And, it isn't like we have therapy at 3pm when it might not be a big deal. Speech starts at nine thirty. And maybe the therapist doesn't know me well, but I felt like it has been pretty clear over the last eight months that at nine thirty this family is just barely getting it's shit together enough to open the door to strangers. Like to the point that when I opened the door to the knock at 9:03 Henry was still SOUND ASLEEP, Nick was showering with no clothes to put on in the bathroom (so you know...he had to walk around in just a towel) and I was wearing a fantasy football tshirt with no bra and my hair was a rat's nest of a disaster all around my head. There were clothes on the floor, toys (clearly from last night since my child is sound asleep) out in the living room, beds unmade, dishes on the counter. I NEEDED THAT TWENTY SEVEN MINUTES TO HELP ME LOOK LIKE A GROWN UP!
Anyway, I must have looked like a deer in headlights because she was like "....um.... I know I am early....sorry..." *looks away from the rats nest and pretends not to notice it* and I wanted to be like "WHY ARE YOU HERE SO EARLY?" but instead was like "Hahaha...no big deal...let me just..." and walk into Henry's room and hiss "HENRY!! Get. Up. Now!" to which he replies "Light off!" and buries his face in his pillow. Ah, school is going to be fun with this one, right?
Anyway, none of that story is the point of this post. That's just there to tell you how great I am at this whole "grown up" thing. What I am really wanting to talk about is speech therapy in general. I just cannot decide if we should be continuing with his weekly therapy. He seems to be right on track for a two year old at this point. He talks ALL. THE. TIME. And although he still totally says "fuck" for truck, the therapist tells us that is perfectly normal. It doesn't even make her laugh. Not even when it's a "biiiiig FUCK!" Now there's a grown up.
So here's the thing, I can't decide if it's selfish to think about pulling him out of therapy, because one reason I want to pull him out is to avoid more mornings like this one. On one hand, I really don't think he needs it any longer. I am not even sure what difference an hour a week of therapy has made for him. It made a big difference for me mentally to feel like we were doing something about his delayed speech, but did it really help him to start talking? I am sure it helped. It gave us direction. It told us how to work with him. Yes, I really do think it helped. But I am not sure we would be in an extremely different place at this point with or without it. Henry decided he was ready to start talking and he did. The boy loves to learn and he is like a sponge. He knows all his letters and numbers. He counts items, can tell you what is the same and what is different, he is using plurals and -ing. He is asking and answering questions. His therapist says that she does a lot of things with him that are really for older children. And I don't mean that to brag about him. I am sure lots of two year olds do those things. But that's the point. I think he is the same as lots of two year olds. Do we still need early intervention for him?
We have a meeting today about the early intervention pre-school that he may qualify for because he is in the First Steps program. His therapist was telling me today that the program tests equal or better than most of the very expensive private preschools in town. She also said she would be very surprised if Henry tested in, but that you never know. Do we keep him in speech in hopes of allowing him to be in this (free) preschool? Is THAT selfish of me? Or is it selfish to take him out of the system because I want to take him to the library story time on my day off?
That isn't the only reason, or even a reason in the top ten list of reasons. I am not sure he needs it. I KNOW there are kids who need it more. We are paying (be it a small amount each month) for something I don't know is helping him anymore. But how do I say we are pulling out if it IS helping him? We aren't planning on preschool until he is three, not matter if it's this Early Start one that would be free or one we pay for. He isn't in daycare, does he need this, even at just an hour a week?
I asked his therapist. She said it was up to us, that he seems really on par for his age, but she would hesitate to pull him out of the system because he will never get back in. I just don't know what to do. And maybe that means we stay where we are. It might not be helping, but I am positive it's not hurting him. So maybe that's our answer.
This parenting stuff. Nobody tells you that you have to make so many decisions where the answers are in the grey area. Not clear either way what is best. So you are left second guessing.
Maybe I am a grown-up after all. Rat's nest and all.