What?! Normal?

Little L. E. Fant's doctor made a somewhat startling revelation today at her nine month check up...she appears to be normal. I'm not sure how to deal with normal. With four children, I have thus far only been introduced to abnormal.

Where my oldest was amazing everyone she knew with her animal imitations and developing sign language, little L. E. Fant is still content with a string of babbling consisting predominantly of coos and vowels. She is only just beginning to experiment with some consonants, her favorites being a lip pop, a tongue click and a sort of trilled z, none of which exist in the English language.

Where Bug, now two, was taking her first steps at ten months, little L. E. Fant is blissfully unconcerned about even pulling herself up. Or really crawling for that matter. She has, however, perfected the army crawl and races around the house on her tummy.

Where Bear, now four, (and Bug for that matter) hit the 95th percentile for height, weight and even head circumference, Little L. E. Fant insists at staying steady in the 50th.

Then there was that little questionnaire I filled out regarding her verbal and social development. The range of normal was a bit broad, I thought, with scores from 18 to 56 being considered "normal." My little L. E. Fant scored 19. Twenty one after the doctor went back through and changed a couple of my answers. I have never been concerned about her development. I know she is lagging in these areas, but she is very interested. She is intent on observing people, studies their actions and follows her siblings everywhere.

You have never seen a baby so happy as when they dress her in doll clothes and push her around the house in a box.

She has trailed on every developmental milestone, save eating related activities, but they have come in their own time. She seems to be a watcher. Intently studying, contemplating what is going on around her. And then one day she tries it for herself. And while that may be weeks after other children her age have first attempted these new skills, her studying seems to make up the difference.

So my baby, I think, is normal. How do you raise a normal child?