Friday, October 8, 2010

I was thinking, when was the last time I wrote a post about Cayman and her therapy sessions? It's been awhile.

Could it possibly be as far back as May when I posted to show off her improved abilities in walking with her walker.

The continual improvements in that area came in small leaps. She slowly built up her endurance and could walk farther with each month but still too weak to actually push the walker by her own strength.

A little over a month ago she surprised us one day when we let go of the walker and Cayman pushed it all by herself with champion steps taking her a whole two feet all by her own strength!

That's my girl!

By that next week she was up to five feet!

And I did not take a single video of it!! (I know, *gasp*, *gasp*!) I was too busy cheering to hold a camera steady.

Almost a month ago Cayman stopped, completely wants nothing to do with the walker now. The very site of it upsets her. She kicks her feet struggling to get out of our embrace if we carry her toward it. And if we push through her struggles (I know, what meanies huh) she ends up in tears. Poor little sweetheart. This reaction makes me think she is afraid of it. I have only seen this kind of behavior in her when we have approached animals too close for her comfort level. But I have no idea why she would feel afraid. She has not ever fallen while using the walker. Far as I know from my objective point of view there was no negative encounter with it. If anything it was quite the opposite of an experience. The more she progressed in walking independently with the walker the more excited Mike and I got, with cheers and so many hugs and kisses. She loved the attention - giggling the whole five feet she could push the walker before she tuckered out. Oh how I wish I had it on video. The very memory of it makes me smile, the way she was so happy and silly while walking all by herself (with the walker of course. It felt like she was walking all by herself because we were not pushing the walker along while she took her steps). Happy things.

And now the walker makes her so sad. I wish I could understand why.

She kind of followed this same pattern of regression with independent sitting as well before she fully conquered it.

Someday she will get there, in walking. In her own time. And in her own way.

The walker is still around, visible if she wants to see it. But we don't push the issue. Once in awhile I get it out and put it in the center of the room and leave it be. Most of the time Cayman crawls around it, ignoring it. A few times she has approached it to push it forward and backwards while sitting down or standing on her knees. But if I dare sneak in and try to help her stand up to it the struggles begin.

This is the part of parenting when I wish my child came with a manual. Is it a stubbornness that we should push through and keep forcing the issue of the walker? I know she is strong enough to do it. Yet that doesn't feel right to me. I know my little Cayman and I am going to stick with my gut feeling and not push it. I feel confident that she will get there someday, in walking. In her own time. And in her own way. Pushing it will only make her more resistant and create a negative experience out of something as beautiful as the gift of walking.

But there is one more Mommy-trick I have been doing, this subject is not completely a closed matter. An approach to this from a different angle so's to speak. Since Cayman loves watching videos on my laptop, we sit together and watch the videos I took of her at therapy back when she did walk with her walker. We point together. I narrate the happenings out loud to her, "Look Cayman, there is you and Miss Jodi. And you're walking. Look at Cayman walking! You go, go, go!! So big!" I'll say with an enthusiastic smile. Cayman usually smiles back and watches intently.

Like I said, in her own time. In her own way. She'll let us know when she's ready. And I'll be sure to get a video of it this time. :)

The update doesn't stop there.

There is progress in other areas and one big one happens to do with walking. Yes I did type that correctly and no you did not misread it. Sounds contradictory I know. While Cayman has regressed in walking with a walker she has progressed in walking along (side stepping) a bench at therapy and at home it's the couch. I have a video of that posted below. Also in the video you'll see Cayman giggling and babbling into a toy microphone. That's another huge improvement for her. She's been mimicking [some] sounds and taking turns to produce purposeful noises into the microphone is new as of just this week. And the last segment in the video you'll see Cayman swinging. That's her favorite part of therapy. In fact, it's so much fun to her that the swing is taken down and hidden out of site before the therapy session begins. We have learned this little trick keeps her more cooperative and focused if all that swinging fun is not hanging there distracting her. Then it's brought out at the end as her perfect reward system for working so hard.

Happy viewing...

13 Showin' Comment Love:

Tiffany said...

Yeah for that last piece!! Olivia would do that to me too...make progress and then quit it. But she always did everything on HER's just frustrating to wait and see when it was!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the video! She is so sweet and you can really tell she has a gentle personality. Miles does the same thing with regressing- at one point he would walk while holding just one of my hands, now we are lucky to get him to walk holding both hands. They will get there eventually! She is just precious.

Beth said...

She is doing great and of course, cute as ever (if not cuter)!!!!

Sara said...

She is doing so good! Look at how tall she is!!! I can't wait for Kadyn to get back into therapy!!! That is going to be an exciting day for us!

Gabriella said...

I like to think that during those times of "regression" (or what appears to be), their brains are making connections and discovering other things that, when they come back to that skill, they do it successfully, with confidence as though it were something they were always able to do! I try to remind myself of that each and every time this "step back" happens. I always wait for something greater to come! And, it always does come! Good luck!

P.S. Cayman is looking so physically strong in these videos.

PPS. And what I love about your blog and videos is that you always give me ideas for things to try out with my little guy who seems to be following in Cayman's footsteps! I love the microphone idea! MUST GET ONE! Do you know the make of that one, by chance?

ABandCsMom said...

She is so awesome! And she's doing fantastic!

The Soldatke family said...

okay, I left a comment earlier, and I dont' see it...hmm....well I can't even remember what I said; other than... Way to go Cayman!!

She looks amazing Kristen...and as always, I love your perspective!

Lisa said...

I can totally relate to you not having video of the walking; I never got much footage of Elisabeth crawling because I never expected it to go away. You always figure you can do it next time. Now I wish I had taken video of Lizzy crawling while I could, who knows if she will ever do it again.

Our little ones are so interesting, how skills can just come and go.

I love seeing her in action at therapy....she is seeming so big!

Grandma S said...

She sure looks girly in that little skirt. I love to watch her signing.

Diane said...

I love the video and her outfit is just darling. She is doing so awesome and I think the walking thing will come back in her own time. Our kids teach us so much patience, don't they?

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Cayman!

She looks so big!

*Monica said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I was having a rotten day and hearing Cayman laugh into that echo microphone got me literally laughing along!

The cure for the grumpies is always a laughing kiddo

Gretchen said...

Awe man this made my morning, she is just so awesome! Thanks for sharing. Please back up all pics and videos to an external drive or some other source, I just read about a mom who lost ALL of her babies pics and videos due to computer crash, made me cry.