Monday, August 11, 2008

Don't Look Now

I love my son. I LOOOOOVE him the way I love oxygen - I need it to live. And I breathe him in the way I do oxygen because I love the way he smells. My favorite thing in the world is to sit on the sofa with him and breathe in his breath. Even when he just wakes up and he has a little bit of morning breath it's the most beautiful, wonderful scent in the world.

I know. I'm just weird like that.

Each time Thomas learns something new, picks up a new skill or, like he did just a few weeks ago, learns how to throw kisses, I am completely blown away. Thomas, like many children with global developmental delays, has periods of time where he doesn't learn any new skills. These times, maddening and always way too long, are called plateaus. He'll ride a plateau for a while and I'll start to get frustrated, a little desperate, then suddenly, in a flurry of furious learning, he starts doing something that I had decided, in my faithless way, he would never do.

The poor kid had such a hard time with head control. His head was HUGE and his pink little neck was so small. The picture I took of him on his first birthday shows a little boy exhausted from his party and unable to hold his head up any longer, so he's resting it on the back of his high chair.

I was convinced he would never sit up unassisted. The first time he sat up long enough for me to take a photo was the summer of 2006. He was 15 months old. The effort of sitting up was so great that it made him sweat. Little beads of perspiration would just pour down his face and his arms would shake as he attempted to balance on them. After placing him in the frog position and letting go, I would cheer and sing silly songs until I saw him begin to lose it, then I would grab him up and kiss him all over and tell him what a big boy he was.

I remember the first time he ever pushed himself up to sitting on his own. I was in bed, Hubs had just finished brushing his teeth and we could hear Thomas in his room on the monitor happily talking and laughing. Hubs walked across the hall to say goodnight and then he yelled "Honey, come in here!" Nothin' like hearing that coming from your child's nursery to get your heartrate up.

I ran in and lunged over the side of the crib to see what was wrong with Thomas. The light was still off and as my eyes adjusted to the darkness I realized I couldn't FIND Thomas. Then I saw him. Sitting up at the end of the crib wondering what on earth everybody was doing in his room. Hubs and I did a damn jig and then called everyone we knew to tell them that THOMAS CAN PUSH TO SITTING ON HIS OWN. Then he didn't do it again for 3 weeks.

Now we are working on mobility. His physical therapists are working on both crawling and walking, and I keep shouting at them in my head "let's focus on one or the other, because asking him to do both just doesn't seem FAIR." There I go again. Thinking the worst while urging Thomas on to do his best.

Two weeks ago my mom, Thomas, Emmie and I were playing ball in the living room, rolling the ball back and forth between us. Thomas was all eh, not so interested, and put his head down on the carpet. He does this when he's tired so we played ball with Emmie a little longer and started thinking about bathtime.

Then suddenly, we realized Thomas had moved. Like 5 feet. Across the carpet. On his own.


You'd have thought we just won the lottery. I'm pretty sure the neighbors heard us yelling. While we watched and yelled and Emmie looked at us like we were batshit crazy, we witnessed Thomas inchworm across the floor and to the couch, where he tried to pull up.

It ain't the prettiest crawl you ever saw. I'm pretty sure when he really gets going he's going to rub all the hair off his forehead, because he does what PTs call the five-point crawl. He puts his head down and reaches out with his hands then he walks his knees in. Then he slides his head forward, reaches out with his hands again and walks his knees in some more. Naturally he hasn't done it again since that night, but now I know how he is. He tries something once. Ruminates on it for a few weeks days then, just when you think the first time was a mirage, a hope-hallucination, he starts doing it again. And then he owns it.


Tigriswillreign said...

Congratulations! Progress is the best kind of news there is! You really have such a way with presentation, too!

Anonymous said...

This is so precious. I'm proud for him too! You describe it with such love and hope.

I'm going to pray for Thomas..that he'll run and jump and do everything he was intended to. You sound like such a great mom.