Looking Back: Our Exceptional Child

shutterstock_74459017-2 copyDema Hinson, California

Originally published in March/April 1980 issue of La Leche League News

Editor’s Note: The first issue of La Leche League News, the bimonthly publication for members, was published in 1958. The name changed to New Beginnings in 1985. New Beginnings continued to be published until 2014 when it was switched to its current blog format at www.lllusa.org/blog/.

Our daughter, Darcy, is seven years old now, and she’s always been described by our family and friends as “exceptional.”

When she came home from the hospital she was “exceptionally fussy.” (Colic is what the doctor called it.) The only time she didn’t cry was while she was nursing or being held. She nursed often. She napped in a baby carrier. At night she slept near our bed, becoming what our friends called “exceptionally spoiled.”

To everyone’s amazement, at three months her colic disappeared, and she became “exceptionally good.” Wherever we went she was always near me, often sitting quietly on my lap for long periods of time (e.g. in the theatre, during occasional visits to her daddy’s post grad school classes, in church, and so on).

As she grew, she did all the usual things at the usual times. But she talked clearly, quite early. So, she was then called “exceptionally bright.” I got some strange looks when, at 18 months, she would say, “I want to nurse, please!”

When she was two, she moved into her own bed and weaned in three short months. I thought she was “exceptionally mature” for two, and others frequently described her as “exceptionally loving and pleasant.”

shutterstock_45944164Then, when she was three, our twins were born. I taught her the answers to all the questions people usually asked: “Yes, they are twins; they are fraternal girls,” and their current ages. She got all of the attention that many older siblings miss because I always referred the questions to her, sometimes feeding the answers through her. So she became an “exceptional older sister.”

Then last week I was sick, and Darcy was so helpful and loving. She let me sleep late by playing quietly with her sisters until I arose. Then she encouraged them to stay at the table and eat with her while I went back to bed. The rest of the morning she played school with them on the porch near my bedroom door. I fixed them lunch, and they ate outside. Afterward, the twins napped with me while Darcy played quietly. When they awoke, they watched TV together until Daddy came home. The next day I was much better, and we all spent the day quietly together.

I’m writing to tell you that all the loving attention pays off. She’s giving back all the love we’ve given her. Yes, world, La Leche League mothering is “exceptionally good” for children.