On not babying our kids


I was just looking at photos from a bowling party Max recently went to, where SpongeBob SquarePants made an appearance. Max had the time of his life. But as I stared at the pictures, I realized how ridiculous Max looked in that little-kid bib that I threw on him before we left the house. He is 7 years old.

It took a snapshot to make me realize this, because Max has basically been wearing bibs for most of his life. We have a wardrobe of them, including bandana-like ones that look more cool, some solid ones that look OK, and baby ones like this that have lingered around since he was little. If it was up to my husband, Dave, Max wouldn’t wear a bib at all, but then the drool ends up soaking through his shirt. I know there’s medication he could try, but I don’t want to medicate him anymore, he’s already on anti-seizure drugs.

It really is time to toss the tot bibs. They put Max at a disadvantage, making him stand out in a crowd.

Sometimes, my husband and I unintentionally do things that infantilize Max. Like when we went to Disney World in April, we were hanging out at the gate before the plane ride home and Dave thought that Max needed a diaper change. So he yanked down his sweats to check, right in the middle of a crowd. An elderly couple noticed it and the guy guffawed. I was really, really upset, and basically reamed Dave out for treating Max like a baby. But clearly I do too. Lesson learned.

Parents of kids with special needs: We just keep developing all the time, don’t we?

Ellen blogs daily at Love That Max

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