Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Every time we return from a trip with Miles, he seems to grow mentally or physically by leaps and bounds. And it's interesting because we don't really have the time or desire to practice any of the excercises we should be practicing while on vacation. Yet, he is learning and making connections. I almost feel like the time away from therapy allows him to put it all together in his brain. So I try to remember that when we are planning a trip because I always feel guilty that I'm taking him out of therapy for it. And really, traveling is such a huge learning experience, it expands ones awareness of people, places, cultures and self. And I know Miles pays attention to all of that. Every new environment he is in, every new person he meets or sees, the smells, even the new foods, they all contribute to his development and growth. And so it makes sense that he always has new tricks to show when we return from a trip!
We just got back from New York, where he got to ride the subway, stroll around in the streets of our old hoods and see lots and lots of faces every day. He loved it and seemed to have a good time, even though he had a cold with a nasty cough while we were there. He ate refried beans at a little Mexican joint at 9pm one night, he watched another baby in his stroller on the subway crying, he swang in the swings and went down the slide in a park.....all little moments that add something.
Since we got back, Miles has not stopped talking about it. He is blabbing like crazy the last few days. Now when he says "mama", I think he is truly trying to call me! I can also see him start to recognize the sign for "milk". He has also been making an effort to hold his own bottle when we feed him. In fact twice since we returned, he has fed himself for a few minutes! And not just from the bottle, but also one of those little mashed fruit boxes and today at the grocery store, he reached out and grabbed some tomatoes and put them in his mouth!
You see, we have spent a couple of months trying to get him to feed himself and grab the food from his high chair tray and put it in his mouth. It's a very difficult task for him since he doesn't have the motor skills, so it's very rewarding to see him try to do it! And it's so darn cute too!
He smiles and laughs about it. It's all a game to him.
The other cool thing he's been doing is kneeling. For the last year, Miles has had two positions: sitting and being on his belly. And when he's sitting, his legs are usually straight out and far apart. Miles is so flexible that he does splits on a daily basis, usually when going from sitting to his belly. He does not like bending his knees in any position because it's difficult for him to weight bare and it hurts. But he's been doing it on his own! If he is curious enough about something out of reach, he will now kneel and even try to get up further to grab it. He usually can't sustain it for too long, but endurance will come with practice and time. The thing is that it's all sinking in! All these months of exercises with the PT and OT, teaching him to kneel, crouch, bend his legs and weight bare are starting to finally come together in his brain and body.
It's so amazing for me to watch because when we practice something for so long without seeing any results, I forget that he will move ahead. It's like when you get stuck in one place for so long that you get used to where you're at and stop wanting to get out of it. So when you do get out of it, you can't even believe it. That's sort of how I feel with Miles and his milestones.
People still ask me about some of the bigger milestones: Is he crawling? Is he walking? Is he talking? No, he's not doing any of those yet, but he is trying to. I can see the signs, the little hints toward bigger milestones in the future. And for this mama, that is all I need to feel joy.